With COVID-19 cases starting to spike again in many locations, it has become clear that challenges lie ahead to generate revenues.
With this in mind, many restaurants are scrambling to make sure their outdoor dining setups are safe, that they meet guidelines, and that they’re sustainable in the long term. Creating an ideal outdoor dining system can be daunting due to cost and infrastructure, however, Erika Farber, and her partners have formed a new venture to accomplish that goal.
With a theme of the show must go on adapted from their experiences creating backdrops for Broadway plays, Farber have created SET, Inc. The Manhattan based company offer their combined experience in Broadway set design, operations, and sales and advertising, as well as fully constructed modular units (among other hardware), to restaurants struggling to adapt to the new normal.
SET has created a line of modular units that are both versatile and sustainable to the New York City restauranteur seeking to maximize their outdoor footprint. “These modular units can be installed and then disassembled, stored and later reinstalled,” Farber explained. “We are planning on offering options ranging from simple customizable paint colors and modular heating units, to custom designs tailored specifically to different types of establishments. These modulars are crafted using pressure-treated and weather safe materials, and are beautifully designed by architects vetted by Masaharu Morimoto himself.”
Although everyone’s budget is different, SET has a plan in place to help restaurants who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford their services. “We understand the financial challenges that many restaurants are struggling with,” Farber added. “Ultimately, we would love to see a non-profit that would help restaurants apply for grant dollars to be able to build out their outdoor space and put people back to work.”
One of the most important aspects of a robust outdoor dining setup is a focus on safety, both from the virus and more traditional dangers that arise from eating outdoors in an urban environment, such as vehicles. SET plans on covering all of these bases so that their clients can focus on providing the best dining experience possible.
“We can’t move forward and have a sustainable business if what we’re selling is not compliant and safe,” Farber continued. “As part of the cleanliness option we have available for purchase, we offer sanitation stations, which are both important for the sanitation aspect, as well as for optics, making it clear to guests that everything is being cleaned very frequently.”
SET also offers their restaurant clients expertise in the often overlooked segment of legislation that deals with vehicular barriers. This has been particularly taxing for restaurants, since most have already spent their budgets on aspects more closely related to the dining experience. To accommodate this, SET offers a wide variety of barriers, ranging from traditional solid material types, to much heavier-duty water-filled ones, such as those used in construction sites. Farber and her partners also offer consulting on safety standards, procedures, and guidelines concerning the re-training of staff in a Covid environment.
Although SET is a brand new company, they are already off to a quick start as the local restaurant community scrambles to maximize outdoor dining revenues during warm weather. They are currently involved in their first project in Brooklyn. “We are looking forward to doing our part to help New York’s restaurants get opened again and get back on solid footing,” Farber concluded.