Peter Oberacker, candidate for New York State Senate, released a plan to help ease the burden on restaurant owners as they begin to look to reopen dine in business.

“Restaurants have taken a big hit during the shut down and state and local governments can act in a simple and meaningful manner to help ease the already difficult burden they face,” Oberacker said.

Oberacker’s 5 point plan consists of common sense ideas that can help restaurants expand potential business and to better function in what is expected to be a modified reopen to limit crowds and promote social distancing.

“If we can help restaurants put a few more people into the seats and help them better facilitate sales in a safe and responsible manner, then we must act. Restaurants are a significant source of jobs and revenue for our communities. It is in everyone’s best interest to act,” Oberacker continued.

Oberacker is hopeful for immediate acceptance and adoption of his plan by state and local officials as restaurants are set to open in phase 3.

“It is incumbent on us to make the necessary arrangements for restaurant owners to plan in advance of their phase 3 reopen. These steps are easy to implement, so why wait?” Oberacker concluded.

Oberacker’s Restaurant Recovery Plan includes the following:

1. Expand Outdoor Seating
Allow local municipalities to expedite permits to allow expanded outdoor seating. When restaurants are allowed to re-open it is assumed it will be at 50% capacity. Expanded outdoor seating will help to safely increase potential capacity and overall patron numbers.

2. Close Streets
Give local municipalities the ability to easily expand public space through street closures and other means that will create open common areas. Restaurant patrons can enjoy their favorite locations while maintaining safe distances while restaurants have the potential to expand capacity in a more responsible manner.

3. Open Container Management
Suspend open container and alcohol beverage laws to allow for consumption of alcoholic beverages in designated areas outside of restaurants and within certain designated common areas and allow current Liquor License permits to automatically cover any outdoor or expanding seating sections adjacent to current licensed premise.

4. Reservation System
Encourage use of online and/or electronic reservation systems. This will assist in utilizing the full capacity potential of a restaurant and can help to alleviate unsafe crowding in waiting areas. Also, in the event a restaurant patron tests positive for COVID-19, notifying and tracing others who were at the restaurant during the same time will be easier.

5. Lift Single Use Styrofoam Ban
Allow restaurants to more easily and efficiently provide better quality take out service by rolling back the ban on single use Styrofoam.