Days after it was announced that New Hampshire restaurants can now operate at 100% capacity indoors while maintaining social distancing, restaurant owners say more needs to be done.>> Download the FREE WMUR appFor many establishments, the governor’s announcement did not change much. Owners are looking for other ways to allow more people inside. Despite the option to sit inside a restaurant, some continue to choose to eat outdoors, whether it’s due to nice weather or having concerns for their health.The announcement on Friday that indoor seating can operate at 100% capacity indicated a safer scenario for eating inside. But, with the six-foot social distance requirement between tables, many are not able to add more options inside.“We get a few more seats, a few more tables. But, we need something coming into the cold weather,” Tom Boucher of Great New Hampshire Restaurants said. “It’s going to be a very lean winter for a lot of restaurants.”The future of many restaurants depends on some more creativity.Some are interested in adding plastic barriers to seat people closer together, much like what stores have between customers and cashiers “There are a lot of discussions going on right now and to the governor’s credit, his office is actively engaged in a discussion about what things we can do, what things can work and still keep our citizens safe,” President and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association Mike Sorners said.Owners said there is a misconception about poor air quality inside restaurants.“The hood system vents all the air in the building every 8-10 minutes,” Sorners said. “Which means that the business through its HVAC system has to replace that air with fresh air from outside.”Industry members are hopeful this is just the first step of many changes to come this fall.

Days after it was announced that New Hampshire restaurants can now operate at 100% capacity indoors while maintaining social distancing, restaurant owners say more needs to be done.

>> Download the FREE WMUR app

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For many establishments, the governor’s announcement did not change much. Owners are looking for other ways to allow more people inside.

Despite the option to sit inside a restaurant, some continue to choose to eat outdoors, whether it’s due to nice weather or having concerns for their health.

The announcement on Friday that indoor seating can operate at 100% capacity indicated a safer scenario for eating inside. But, with the six-foot social distance requirement between tables, many are not able to add more options inside.

“We get a few more seats, a few more tables. But, we need something coming into the cold weather,” Tom Boucher of Great New Hampshire Restaurants said. “It’s going to be a very lean winter for a lot of restaurants.”

The future of many restaurants depends on some more creativity.

Some are interested in adding plastic barriers to seat people closer together, much like what stores have between customers and cashiers

“There are a lot of discussions going on right now and to the governor’s credit, his office is actively engaged in a discussion about what things we can do, what things can work and still keep our citizens safe,” President and CEO of the New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association Mike Sorners said.

Owners said there is a misconception about poor air quality inside restaurants.

“The hood system vents all the air in the building every 8-10 minutes,” Sorners said. “Which means that the business through its HVAC system has to replace that air with fresh air from outside.”

Industry members are hopeful this is just the first step of many changes to come this fall.

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