Some South Carolina restaurants are hoping outdoor dining service boosts business

Updated: May. 3, 2020 at 10:17 PM EDT
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ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) - Starting Monday, you will be able to eat out on a restaurant’s patio in South Carolina.

Gov. Henry McMaster is easing up on his stay-at-home order.

One restaurant that’s taking advantage of this is Burgers and Barley in Rock Hill.

Jason Cloud, the restaurant’s owner, says his customers are starving for an outside dining experience.

"People all the time, when they come in, are like, ‘I can’t wait to sit down relax and enjoy my dinner,’ versus eating in the car,” Cloud said.

According to Cloud, customers also want their specially made adult beverages back.

“No less, in the last 25 days, I’ve received a dozen calls, if we could sell one of our boozy milkshakes to go,” Cloud said.

South Carolina has strict open container laws so picking up certain drinks with curbside service is a no-go.

Cloud can’t predict the future, but he sees Monday being a special time to toast.

“We’ll be able to sell our Marga-jito, which is a mix between a Margarita and a Mojito...something like a Rumrunner, a Hurricane or a Long Island Ice Tea,” said Cloud.

All of this comes with some restrictions.

To have an open patio, Burgers and Barley, and other restaurants throughout the state will have to make sure customers continue to practice social distancing.

Cloud said he will be keeping all of his outside tables covered with a vinyl tablecloth that will be cleaned or replaced after each party, and tables will be placed at least 8 feet apart.

“I can have 9 to 12 tables, but I think we’ll probably limit it to 60 people on the patio at one time,” said Cloud.

To maintain an even safer food and health environment, Cloud said there will not be any reusable dishware for people eating on the patio.

Even condiments will come in small containers to cut down on the chance of spreading germs.

“It’s not your usual 20-minute dining experience. Everything is taking a little longer," Cloud said.

Cloud believes the open patio means he’ll see more customers.

The other great side to this for him, he said, is that he’s been able to hire back more servers and cooks to meet that demand.

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