Restaurants call for looser capacity restrictions

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SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A local assemblywoman is petitioning the state to lift some of the restrictions on the restaurant industry. As the weather turns colder, outdoor seating will no longer be an option for every business.

Assemblymember Carrie Woerner spoke outside Hattie’s in Saratoga Springs on Monday. She wants the state to expand the seating capacity limit to 75 percent to get more customers in the door and keep restaurants afloat.

Advocates are also calling for a cap on fees for delivery services such as DoorDash and GrubHub. One restaurant owner said his expenses for third party delivery services jumped from five percent before the coronavirus pandemic to 40 percent now.

“Just to put a quantity on how much of an expense these third party deliveries are for my business, it’s cost me $30,000 in expenses just since St. Patrick’s Day to keep my business up and running with the support of these third party deliveries,” David Zuka, Ravenous Caperie owner, said.

It’s not the only expense these businesses are facing. They are purchasing and renting tents and propane heaters, which cost upwards of $100 a day to keep outdoor spaces comfortable and inviting.

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