As the weather begins to cool in coastal and Northern cities across the country, restaurants are preparing for outdoor dining in the cold. This week, New York City released it's own outdoor dining guide for the winter including how to heat outdoor structures and the proper ventilation to comply with coronavirus safety protocols. In June, NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio made outdoor dining across the city permanent and the new rules include specific heater and permit regulations for the 10,500 restaurants in the city.
Celebrity chef Rick Bayless stepped into the ghost kitchen world this week. Bayless turned his latest concpet, Tortazo, into a dark kitchen for Tortas Frontera, Bayless' popular brand that operates at Chicago's O'Hare airport. When the pandemic hit, Tortazo was forced to close and, while it did takeout and delivery for a bit, eventually closed again. Bayless decided to use the kitchen space to expand the delivery zone of the Tortas Frontera brand to downtown Chicago.
Lastly, Southern California diner Norms debuted its own virtual brand this week, Zombie Burger Co. Using kitchens in six already-existing Norms kitchens (where demand has slowed during COVID) the brand is delivery-only. The aim of the brand was to utilize off-premise while on-premise remains limited in California.
See what else was trending on Restaurant Hospitality this week.