Catering entrepreneurs want to extend terrace season, Alkmaar is betting on roofing

Summer can’t last long enough for most catering businesses, but the terrace season is almost over. That’s why hospitality businesses are exploring the possibilities of continuing to welcome guests even in bad weather, now that capacity inside is limited by the 1.5-metre rules.

According to Koninklijke Horeca Nederland, entrepreneurs are not only looking at roofs, or things like heating, but also at the temporary expansion of the terrace, which enabled many catering entrepreneurs to generate some turnover in the summer months.

“Most of the permits for the terrace expansion run until October or November. The requirements vary from municipality to municipality, such as whether or not there is outdoor heating. As far as the corona rules are concerned, an outdoor terrace must be open on three sides or without a roof” The trade association hopes that municipalities will extend the relaxed rules.

Entrepreneurs in Alkmaar want to set up a large tent

The municipality of Alkmaar has extended the scheme for larger terraces until 1 November. The plans for the roof have been submitted and the municipality says it is “open to this kind of ideas”. However, safety, for example, still needs to be looked at carefully.

Canopy as a lifebuoy

Due to the bad weather and the end of the summer holidays, sales in the hospitality industry fell by 17% last week, says economist Stef Driessen of ABN Amro. “The weather is important because of the turnover. A terrace roof could be a lifebuoy in bad weather. And that’s necessary, because it’s going to be a very rough autumn for the industry

Right now it’s silence before the storm, thinks Driessen. “Entrepreneurs have been closed for three months while costs continued. The canopies could ease the pain a little for things with outdoor space. There is this need from entrepreneurs, just like the enthusiasm of guests. It’s up to municipalities to deal with that creatively.”