Heaters a hot commodity for restaurants hoping to extend patio season
Published Sunday, September 20, 2020 3:41PM EDT
KITCHENER -- Outdoor patio heaters have been a hot commodity to acquire for restaurants looking to extend their patio season during the pandemic.
Loloan Lobby Bar in Waterloo is one establishment that won’t have outdoor heaters as temperatures drop and COVID-19 cases rise.
“They’re completely sold out everywhere,” said general manager Jake Richards. “Absolutely every single one, nothing locally and even in Toronto inventory was at one or two.”
The bar has been trying for over a month to acquire and outdoor heater, and Richards adds that, without one, business is expected to drop.
“We’ve had the option for guests to come inside but they would still prefer to sit outside,” he said.
Renting a heater would have cost the bar $40 a day and fell outside the bar’s budget.
The Waterloo establishment is instead handing out fleece blankets to customers instead.
“We launder them after every use and we have lots of them,” said Richards. “If a guest wants one or three we have a lot to offer.”
Swanson’s Home Hardware in Kitchener is one location in the area completely out of stock of patio heaters.
“Whenever the demand is that high for something it’s just really difficult to find them anywhere in town,” said hardware manager Zach Haime. “Supply chain took a hit and everything is backed up. They’re trying their hardest to get everything going.”
Richards says he hopes to serve outside on the patio for as long as possible.