Many of the municipalities across the US that modified their street configurations to comply with social distancing guidelines are expected to retain a portion of them now that the pandemic is easing. These modifications include road closures, wider sidewalks with narrowed streets and parklets that were primarily used to expand restaurant seating to the outdoors. Parklets are the most likely to remain in place as they have proven a win for restaurants, diners, and cities.
Our research indicates that just over 55% of consumers prefer outside restaurant seating to indoor seating when the weather is ideal. Restaurants have not only benefited from higher revenue, but more awareness for their establishments from those walking and driving by. Also, cities have found that the parklets create a vibe that draws more people to the area resulting in more tax revenue. With many of these parklets becoming permanent, expect the restaurants that utilize them to invest in hardening them into their overall operations, making them even more appealing.
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