Orlando restaurants can expand seating into private parking lots, Mayor Dyer announces

As businesses start to reopen on Monday under Phase 1 of the state's plan, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer has made several changes to city code to help local businesses operate under the new guidelines.

Mayor Dyer announced on Monday morning that effective immediately, Orlando restaurants may expand seating into private parking lots.

Under phase one of Florida's reopening plan, restaurants and retail stores can reopen with limited capacity. Restaurants can allow 25-percent capacity inside indoor rooms as long as social distancing guidelines are followed. However, outdoor seating is allowed at any capacity as long as tables are six-feet apart.

With that said, moving tables and seats outdoors allows restaurants to serve more patrons.

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In addition, Mayor Dyer is allowing businesses to do the following, effective immediately:

  • Small, farmer’s market-style 12-feet by 12-feet tents to accommodate for sales and seating outdoors.
  • Granting businesses the ability to use extra banners and signage for marketing.
  • Covering the costs of downtown parking to encourage residents to patronize businesses within our urban core.

“We know, there are few, if any, businesses that have been immune to the impacts of this global pandemic,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “Whether closing completely, limiting operations or having employees work remotely, our employers and entrepreneurs have helped us control the spread of this virus and now we can begin to reopen our economy responsibly. Our local businesses provide a livelihood for our residents and are at the heart of everything we do as a community and so we want to do what we can to support them on the path to recovery.” 

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Orlando is not the only one expanding outdoor seating. For example, for Mother's Day weekend, Park Avenue in Winter Park will be shut down for restaurants to set up tables outside and accommodate as many people as possible.


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