Of course it will. Duh.
What do you mean by "spike". The apparent rapid rise in case numbers we saw in March was because we weren't actually testing people. So it wasn't that it went from 1-1,000 rapidly. Rather, there were thousands infected and we started catching and testing them in a rapid increase. (and, yes, I understand that even that increase was under-counting, i'm just talking about the slope of the curb being so steep). Even in states which fully opened up, the increase in cases rose, it did not "spike" with a sharp, rapid increase.
The other thing to consider is that because of small restaurant sizes in NYC, when there is an infected person eating at a location, there will only be a small handful of people who are initially infected (That is the idea behind the small gathering rules). So yes, it will spread. But the idea is that with contract tracing and vigilance, it will stop spreading soon thereafter.
Having said all that, I would not dine indoors myself and it will lead to a rise of cases.
In order for restaurant business to survive, indoor must be allowed. Right, a lot of people would avoid dining in anyway so dinning in customers will be scarce. Restaurants will need to rely on delivery orders significantly. They better prepare for that. I would support restaurants by dinning in and ordering takeout.
This is not necessarily true: "because of small restaurant sizes in NYC, when there is an infected person eating at a location, there will only be a small handful of people who are initially infected". It depends on a lot of variables, including how long aerosolized virus stays in the air, how long asymptomatic people sit at their tables (obviously maskless to eat and drink), how frequently neighboring tables turnover, testing of restaurant and waitstaff, etc.
@Anonymous yes, it's not absolute. but we are able to see data from other states, and we're not seeing spikes but we do see case increases. Additionally, NYC has much more rigorous testing. I'm not saying that I would have made the choice to open them; I think indoor dining is one of the least safe things you can do, but I don't think it's going to cause an explosion.
I tend to believe that if the infection rate is low (and has stayed low for a while) then opening indoor things up won't cause it to spike. I believe a spike is more likely to happen when touristy things start reopening and people begin to come here from other states where covid is a problem.
This. If the infection rate remains just under 1% then the probability of an infected person going out to eat seems pretty low. And for our financial sake (DH is in restaurant industry) I am relieved to know that there is some glimmer of hope for the industry.