Dining Out NYC Now Accepting Online Applications

Dining Out NYC Now Accepting Online Applications

By Andrew Pisani

New York’s permanent outdoor dining program, Dining Out NYC, is officially open and accepting online applications. Part of Mayor Eric Adams’s ongoing efforts to improve the city’s outdoor spaces, the initiative builds on the success—and corrects the missteps—of the temporary dining program launched during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The online application portal launched on March 5, 2024. Restaurants now operating under the temporary program must apply to participate in Dining Out NYC by August 3, 2024, to maintain operations during the approval process. Eateries that do not apply by this date will need to remove their current outdoor dining setups.

Cafés must follow new setup guides, which govern required distances from crosswalks and fire hydrants, construction materials, accessibility, etc. The new program prohibits fully enclosed structures. Sidewalk cafés are allowed year-round, and roadway cafés may operate for an eight-month season, from April through November.

Eligibility for Dining Out NYC

The Dining Out NYC program is open to all restaurants that meet the following requirements, whether or not they participated in the temporary program:

  • A ground-floor food establishment that is visible and directly accessible to the public from the street
  • Permitted as a food service establishment by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH)
  • Situated in a permitted location according to the Dining Out NYC rules

Dining Out NYC Fees

Eligible food service establishments applying to participate in Dining Out NYC must pay the following fees:

  • Non-refundable license fee. Payable every four years, this flat fee must be paid at the time of application. The license fee is $1,050 for either a sidewalk café or a roadway café, $2,100 if applying for both.
  • Revocable consent fee. Revocable consent allows the city to grant permission to build and maintain structures on, over, or under city streets and sidewalks, and it may be revoked at any time, as suggested by the name. This non-refundable, annual fee is calculated by multiplying the square footage of the proposed café setup by the sector rate, found on the Dining Out NYC fee zone map. The fee is due after the application is approved.
  • Security deposit. The revocable consent agreement requires payment of a $2,500 security deposit for each café type. This refundable deposit is paid after application approval.

If an application requires the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) to hold a public hearing, the notice must be published in a local newspaper. The applicant will be responsible for the cost of publication, estimated between $1,200 and $1,500.

Post-Application Process

The DOT will review all applications. The review process for sidewalk cafés may take up to six months, and the roadway café review process may take up to five months. Applicants can track the status of their application online.

Upon receiving approval, applicants operating under the temporary outdoor dining program have 30 days to comply with Dining Out NYC design requirements—or no later than November 1, 2024.

DOT inspectors will perform an installation inspection 30 days after issuing the revocable consent agreement. Inspectors may request corrections for compliance.

If you have any questions about the program or need assistance, contact Metropolis Group at 212.233.6344. Bon appetit!