Decision on outdoor dining areas a commonsense move

Restaurant & Catering Australia (R&CA) has welcomed Adelaide City Council’s amendments to a proposal which would have required all outdoor dining businesses to operate using non-fixed furniture.

Under the 2014 Outdoor Dining Guidelines, businesses in the City of Adelaide with outdoor dining areas would have been required to replace all existing fixed furniture with removable furniture.

This week, the Council endorsed a transition plan which allows businesses to retain previously approved fixed furniture until a business either changes ownership, closes down or the furniture becomes a hazard to public safety.

R&CA deputy CEO Sally Neville said that the previous policy would have resulted in businesses incurring significant expenses in having to replace their existing fixed furniture as well as increased labour costs.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in the popularity of outdoor dining over the last several years so we need to be making it easier rather than harder for businesses to cater to this demand,” Neville said.

“The original policy would have resulted in businesses who have already gone through the process of approving their existing fixed furniture incurring enormous costs, particularly with the set-up and removal of non-fixed furniture each day.”

Neville also said that restrictions on the placement of outdoor furniture were already one of the most commonly identified issues in terms operating individual outdoor dining areas.

“Over 22 per cent of members in R&CA’s 2017 Benchmarking Survey identified restrictive furniture requirements as the biggest issue they faced in operating their outdoor dining areas successfully,” she said.

“We are pleased that Adelaide City Council has come to a sensible compromise regarding this decision.”

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