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Spanish Restos Can Charge More For Shady Seats

It’s getting even hotter in the world’s traditional hot spots. And Spanish restaurants are losing business on terrace seating sections. Folks don’t want to get cooked over lunch! But restos can now charge extra for seats in the shade…

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The experts can’t agree on when the climate change situation will reach panic levels. But restaurant operators in Spain say, for them, it’s NOW.

It gets so hot on their terraces through the afternoon that diners are staying away in droves – preferring the air conditioned comfort of other eateries. Or their homes, or hotels. And that’s cutting deeply into restaurant profits.

What they did

Through their federal representatives, resto owners petitioned the government to enact an unusual, yet appropriate new law. As a result, Spanish restaurants can now charge extra for seats in the shade. Even if they’re just under a thin, beverage-sponsored umbrella.

The idea is, the restos can make up, at least in part, for the business lost in the ‘unprotected’ parts of their outdoor seating areas.

Overriding considerations?

I have a feeling that some resto patrons will still choose to stay home or dine elsewhere, rather than paying a premium for shade. All the shade in the world can’t mitigate the harsh blast of a broiling breeze. And even if there’s no wind, temps on the terraces are reportedly reaching the upper 40s C / 116 -120 F. At that brutal level, just taking a breath can make your throat burn. And no amount of Sangria can make it better.

On a broader front, hotter weather is bound to discourage tourism – if not now, certainly in the future when conditions just become worse.

And let’s not forget the rising prices of food and transportation. And the effects of general inflation.

Of course, resto owners are also justifiably concerned about the effects on their servers and other staff, who have to spend a fair amount of their time under the relentless sun.

My take

I applaud the Spanish government for answering the cries of the country’s resto operators, trying to afford them some relief from the effects of climate change.

But I am skeptical about the measure’s chances of success. There are just too many other considerations impacting the situation negatively. And a fair number of those are beyond the government’s control. Beyond anyone’s control.

One thing remains clear: This is just the first of many, many more, similar situation that will arise climate change continues to bulldoze its way through the world as we know it.

~ Maggie J.