HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WETM) — Starting Friday, restaurants in New York State can expand indoor dining capacity from 50% to 75%.
“This is great news for us, we’ve been waiting for a while now,” said Gaetano Ruggiero, Owner of Louies. “When the 50% came about, we’ve seen an explosion of business. We unfortunately were limited to seating, so we had to scale back but now that we’re going to 75% that means, we can seat more customers. So that way we created more business for us and we’re happy to welcome the business and I’m sure a lot of restaurants around the area are happy to welcome the business as well.”
Other restaurant policies are still in effect, including one that requires tables to be spaced 6 feet apart and the 11 p.m. curfew. Ruggiero told 18 News, Louies will continue strict cleaning guidelines and will ensure that all staff and customers are safe.
“We do have signs posted, we still ask people to wear their masks when they’re being seated, we wipe down, sanitize tables after they leave,” Ruggiero said. “If you take a pan at this restaurant, you can see that, you know tables are pretty well spaced out.”
Ruggiero said they expanded their restaurant to hold more customers.
“Before we were just a small 64 seat restaurant,” Ruggiero said. “Now, we doubled in size so we can seat about 102. So 75% gets us a lot more customers in the door, and that way we can bring a lot more revenue.”
Some smaller restaurant owners said this expansion doesn’t change anything for them. They are still required to have every-other table closed.