Outdoor living spaces had already been on the upswing. People created beautiful outdoor living areas that looked and felt like extensions of their homes. Decks, patios, and porches soon became home to outdoor kitchens, pergolas, cozy furniture and, of course, gas fires. And this was before the pandemic.
The onslaught of COVID-19 not only furthered an increase in demand for residential outdoor living areas but spurred a similar craze in the restaurant and hospitality industries.
The restaurant industry has been particularly hard hit during the pandemic as many countries have completely banned indoor dining or issued restrictive capacity regulations. Not to mention a mask mandate that puts a real damper on the whole dining experience. Since March 2020, it’s estimated that one in six restaurants in the U.S. have shuttered their doors.
Trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, restaurants and bars quickly switched from indoor venues to dining in the great outdoors. Patios and parking lots transformed into outside dining areas. Cities also helped the industry by closing off adjacent streets and public sidewalks creating even more outdoor seating.
Then a funny thing happened. People discovered that eating lunch or having a drink outdoors is a lot of fun. They continued to enjoy dining out-of-doors throughout the fall and into the winter months, even as the temperatures plummeted. To help keep customers warm and comfortable, the owners added clean burning, energy efficient natural gas fires and heaters to the venues.
When you add up all these different factors, it makes sense that Maxitrol has seen an uptick in the use of its GV32 and remote controlled GV60 combination gas control valves for outdoor gas fire applications, especially in Europe.