As demand for outdoor dining has grown quickly, cities everywhere have seen streets transformed by something known as a ‘streatery.’ A streatery is typically an area located directly outside a restaurant that is converted to seating for restaurant guests.
Not only are streateries attractive to customers who want to dine outdoors, they also offer bars and restaurants new opportunities. However, that opportunity doesn’t come without risk. Here, we’ll take a closer look at what a streatery is, how they work, and what you need to be aware of before your business implements a streatery of its own.
What is a Streatery?
As we mentioned, a streatery is an outdoor dining area (or eatery), typically located on sidewalks or in on-street parking—hence the name, ‘streatery.’ Their construction varies by business, depending on needs and local regulations; some provide cover from the elements, others are simply barricaded dining areas.
How Streateries Work
Streateries offer bars and restaurants a number of benefits, but one of the most notable is that it increases your business’ footprint without major construction costs or opening new locations.
Additionally, more and more customers are eager for outdoor dining, especially in pleasant weather months. By having a streatery, your business can attract these customers, even if you don’t have a traditional patio or other existing outdoor space.
Permits and Compliance are Essential for a Successful Streatery
Before you take some patio chairs and tables out onto the sidewalk or into the parking lane, you’ll want to ensure that your streatery is compliant with local regulations. Regulations vary by municipality, but streateries often need to comply with requirements such as:
- Operating only on streets with specific speed limits
- Remaining a certain distance from utilities, fire hydrants or street corners
- Not blocking access to bike lanes, bus stops, or crosswalks
- Remaining accessible under the ADA
- Not impacting drainage
Streateries are known to activate public spaces, encourage people to spend more time in and around their community, and can ultimately benefit your neighboring businesses as a part of a mutually beneficial business ecosystem.
However, public safety also needs to be taken into account. Considering that sidewalks and on-street parking are typically considered public spaces, you will most likely need to apply for additional permits to open your streatery. Permits will clarify how you can use the space, how much you need to pay to use it, and how it needs to be maintained.
Obtaining the appropriate permits and updating your insurance coverage is crucial for your business’ protection.
Understanding what’s expected of you when you implement a streatery is vital for happy customers, regulatory compliance, and reducing your business’ vulnerabilities.