CLEVELAND — The tough Ohio winter weather is almost upon us and with it comes less outdoor dining.
That can be tough on restaurants and other businesses following COVID-19 rules.
General Manager Jason Reiss walks into Betts restaurant that’s gone through some changes from social distancing, to mask enforcement and temperature checks.
“This is Sheila. So, Sheila is actually a temporal scanner and facial recognition. So, if we come up to Sheila, she’s going to show you (and) make sure No. 1, that you’re wearing a mask. No. 2, as you step in, she’s going to be taking my temperature across my forehead and making sure that we’re normal. And she’ll give you a big checkmark and say, ‘thank you and welcome aboard.’”
But as he heads outside, the restaurant didn’t stop there, as the property is now covered with greenhouses where he sets the table and opens the sunroof for the next customer.
“We went through a farm wholesaler, oddly enough, and when we made that call, we got the call back saying we are completely out of stock. So, this is something that, as much as we’d like to take credit for being the first ones to do it, it sounds like a lot of people are doing it all over the country. They even mentioned, you know, do you own a restaurant? That’s how that went.”
The greenhouses help keep customers outside and socially distant. So customers can sit back, relax and enjoy the restaurant experience.
“Part of our COVID protocol, we did lose about 12 tables inside for the six-foot rule that needs to be adhered to. So with that, it’s, you know, the nine tables that we have out here (which) gives you a nice, safe, intimate, dry, warm option to dine through the winter,” said Reiss
After Reiss wipes down the table, a staff member sprays down the inside of the greenhouse so the tables and chairs are clean, safe and ready for the next customer, hoping the idea can help betts get through a potentially tough winter for restaurants.
“It is such a tough challenge. And for us, this makes it a little more of a destination, a little more attractive for people to come down and join us. Two months open, we’re still trying to stay fresh, and this is a great opportunity.”
Reiss says he’s seen the greenhouses in some other cities across the country.
“I’ve had quite a few call locally from different business owners, winery owners, people that are looking to expand and get through the winter months.”