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Naples restaurant panel happening Wednesday to discuss lessons learned from COVID

Posted at 1:43 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 13:43:39-05

NAPLES, Fla -- Restaurant owners in Naples will meet Wednesday, March 3, 2021 to have a conversation about the future of their industry.

The Greater Naples Chamber and one of the panelists said that compared to last season when these restaurants were shut down, business is good this season. Tony Ridgway owns Ridgway Bar & Grill, Bayside Seafood Grill & Bar and Tony’s Off Third, he says his success has to do with how they've modified the dining experience at these locations to keep customers safe.

Ridgway said one lesson learned was to provide ample outdoor seating and opt for more small tables versus large tables to allow significantly more space in between. He said that safety protocols like this are among the topics of discussion we can expect during the panel Wednesday.

As Fox 4 reported in October, the Collier County mask mandate has been extended through April of this year. Ridgway expects that will also be a topic of conversation.

"I think we'll also talk about where we're going. There may be some who simply say when the protocols from the county and city are removed on the 13th of April, we will cease to require masks. We will continue to. And I think we'll be rewarded for that as well," said Ridgway.

If you'd like to register for the panel, you can learn more here. The cost to attend is $30 for members and $40 otherwise, the meeting starts at 4:00 p.m. at The Hilton Naples.

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