Lift Up Local

Lift Up Local

In response to the Florida Governor’s Executive Order 20-123 limiting restaurant interior capacity to 50% of approved occupancy, the City of Tampa implemented the Lift Up Local Economic Recovery Plan which temporarily allows restaurants and retail businesses to expand their exterior business footprint into privately-owned and public space without having to go through a full application and permitting process or pay a fee.

The program will remain in effect during the time that the internal restaurant capacity is capped at 50% of regular capacity. During this time, the City will suspend certain code and permit requirements to enable greater use of outdoor space for dining and retail patrons. Safety and accessibility requirements still apply. Details of the specific guidance are available in the LiftUp Local Guidebook for Phase 3.

A summary of the details are as follows:

General Restaurant Requirements and Recommendations

  • Indoor capacity is limited to 50% of building occupancy, excluding staff and personnel.
  • All seating, both indoor and outdoor, must be spaced at least six feet apart, except if partitioning is in place.
  • No Seat, No Service. All restaurant patrons must be seated inside or outside the establishment. No standing or loitering is permitted.
  • Restaurants are encouraged to use a reservation process to prevent capacity issues. Restaurants using Tents or Parklets are REQUIRED to use a reservation process to prevent patrons from congregating while waiting for service.
  • Facial coverings must be worn by all staff who have direct contact with patrons and customers.
  • Hand sanitizer should be easily accessible to patrons and employees.
  • Disposable, sanitizable, or electronic menus are recommended.
  • Contactless ordering and payment processes are recommended.
  • Employees and staff are encouraged to be tested for COVID-19. Call 888-513-6321 for free testing. No symptoms necessary and insurance is not required.

Restaurant + Retail Outdoor Seating Recovery Program

The City of Tampa is temporarily allowing restaurants and retail businesses to expand dining and retail operations onto private and public areas immediately adjacent to their establishments provided the applicable requirements described in the Lift Up Local Guidebook can be met. The use of open space that is not covered by a tent or structure can be done without seeking a pre-approval (periodic inspections may occur).  Use of tents, covered structures, or parklets require a pre-approval per the Fast Pass process. Details are available in the Guidebook.

Outdoor café seating and retail operations located on public or private sidewalks without a tent or covered structure

For the duration of Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order 20-112 and 20-139, as amended, modified and extended, City Code requirements regarding certain permitting of sidewalk cafes shall be temporarily suspended. Businesses utilizing private and public sidewalks shall comply with the guidelines established in the Lift Up Local Guidebook during this time period. Operational Requirements for Sidewalk Cafes per Sec. 22-227 shall remain in effect and shall generally apply to all private business operations including retail establishments.

Essential guidance for outdoor seating on sidewalks, with no tent

  • No application, permit process, or fee is required. Periodic unannounced inspections may occur.
  • Adequate pedestrian flow of at least 6 feet must be maintained at all times; an example of an adequate outdoor seating configuration can be found in the Guidebook.
  • Access to public utilities, building entrances, crosswalks, bus stops and transit entrances must be maintained.
  • Pedestrian and traffic safety must be observed.
  • Aesthetic compatibility with the surrounding area must be established.
  • Additional guidance and requirements on location, construction, signage, maintenance and umbrella

Note: The City reserves the right to remove a sidewalk café/retail space for violations listed in the Guidebook.

Use of Parklets or Temporary Tents/Covered Structures

Establishments may seek approval to install temporary parklets and/or tents/covered structures subject to the following requirements. Further details may be found in the Guidebooks.

  • Establishment must be legally operational per Governor’s orders.
  • Parklets, Tents and Covers must be approved in advance by the City subject to an EZ-Pass approval system (same-day permit; 24-hour inspection).
  • Social distancing and sanitation protocols remain in effect.
  • No street closures allowed.
  • All patrons must be in a seat. No seat, No service.
  • No bars or outdoor alcohol service stands.
  • City reserves discretion to discontinue the program based upon changing conditions.

More detailed information is available in the LiftUp Local Guidebook for Phase 3