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The Metrics of Outdoor Dining

Outdoor dining programs are proving popular in cities all over the United States, as a lifeline for both restaurants and residents seeking some social normalcy. Data from San Francisco reveal the numbers behind the phenomenon.
October 20, 2020, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Outdoor Dining
Larry Zhou

"What a difference a pandemic makes," writes Eve Batey of the changing landscape of business in San Francisco during the pandemic.

"Today, you can’t drive down a business district street in San Francisco without running into a shared spaces platform (SSP). That’s the technical term for the dining areas restaurants have set up in former parking places, private, built-out operations that allow the struggling industry to serve diners reluctant to move indoors." 

Although the SSP program is scheduled to expire at the end of the year, Batey reports that the San Francisco Board of Superiors are likely to extend the program, as are a growing list of cities with similar programs around the country, including Philadelphia and New York City.

Given that the SSP program isn't going anywhere any time soon, Batey takes a look at the numbers behind this massive change in the public realm, accounting for both the scale of the change and the cost. For instance, Batey reports that costs for SSP's range from $5,000 for an SSP in the Richmond District to $20,000 for the SSP at a location in Cole Valley.

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Published on Friday, October 16, 2020 in Eater San Francisco
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