Iowa restaurants prepare for winter amid pandemic

(Des Moines, IA) -- Iowa restaurants are getting ready for the next big challenge during this year of the COVID-19 pandemic, winter. Jessica Dunker of the Iowa Restaurant Association says many restaurants have changed their business model during the warm months, and added outdoor seating to try and increase capacity, while at the same time separating customers and groups by six feet.

She says as the weather turns cold, some will add heaters or barriers to try and keep customers warm, while maintaining that distance requirement.

Dunker says throughout the spring and summer, restaurants have fine-tuned their business models. She says despite that, the state could still lose 1,000 restaurants due to the impact of the pandemic.

Dunker says instead of eating out once or twice a week, they encourage customers to consider eating out three times a week, to help support their favorite restaurant.

Dunker also says news that six establishments could be facing fines or other penalties for violating the state's public emergency disaster proclamation should raise awareness, and be an incentive for other business owners to play by the rules.

(Photo from Iowa Restaurant Association)

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