With mounting research showing that crowded indoor venues can contribute to coronavirus outbreaks, restaurants and hospitality venues are rushing to secure propane heaters to keep patios open in the winter months. Or as Fast Company puts it: Propane heaters are the new toilet paper.

“As it gets colder outside, shoppers are looking for ways to extend the use of their outdoor spaces, with fire pits, outdoor heaters, outdoor lights, canopies, and even hot tubs,” Jonathan Johnson, CEO of internet retailer Overstock.com, tells Fast Company reporter Talib Visram. While Visram’s article highlights increasing prices and decreasing supply of coveted portable heaters, built-in patio heating offers another option for businesses seeking to upgrade the comfort of their outdoor spaces.

As we noted in a Build With Propane article earlier this year, fixed-mount or built-in patio heating systems won’t tip over, present a tripping hazard, or get damaged in a storm. They don’t require portable cylinder changes, since they’re plumbed to permanent gas lines. And with portable heaters in such high demand, built-in options could be more available to businesses looking to make long-term upgrades to their outdoor spaces.

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