San francisco restaurants

San Francisco restaurants can increase indoor capacity to 50% starting Nov. 3

Restaurants will soon be able to increase their indoor capacity to 50%.

After the City of San Francisco reached the least restrictive level in the state for reopening businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, the Mayor of London Breed announced on Tuesday that restaurants could start welcoming more diners from the November 3.

This is double the amount currently allowed. On September 30, restaurants in San Francisco were allowed to start offering indoor dining at 25% off as long as they also followed strict protocols, including requiring customers to wear masks and answer questions about their health. A time limit of 2 hours and a maximum of 100 people were part of the guidelines.

Now restaurants – including those in hotels, malls and museums – can accommodate up to 200 people and allow diners to stay for up to 3 hours. The city also aims to allow bars that do not currently offer food to open outdoors by mid-November. Under the state’s tier system, counties can allow bars to open with interior modifications when they reach the yellow tier, but that’s not yet happening in San Francisco. Currently, only bars that serve food can operate outdoors.

The news was greeted with cautious optimism by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, a local industry group.

“We know that indoor dining is still not for everyone, be it diners or restaurants. But as we enter our winter season, this is another critical step in the reopening process that offers real hope for the survival of our San Francisco restaurant community,” a statement said in response to the complaint. GGRA announcement.

Indoor dining demand has been high for some of the city’s most popular restaurants. House of Prime Rib received thousands of inquiries after reservations opened, and even for those with fewer enquiries, the ability to open indoors has brought some hope.

Still, many are choosing to refrain from indoor operations for safety reasons, opting for alfresco dining, takeout and delivery.

Tara Duggan is the assistant food editor of the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: tduggan@sfchronicle.comTwitter: @taraduggan