WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) – Many are ready to dine-in at their favorite restaurants again starting Friday, May 1.
A poll done by the Texas Restaurant Association shows more than half of restaurant owners in the state will not open when phase one of Gov.Greg Abbott’s reopen plan for the state begins.
“This is not a mandatory reopening, this is an options and those restaurants who are ready and do think they can do it safely, they can move forward but no one should feel pushed into that,” Vice President of Government Affairs and Advocacy for the Texas Restaurant Association Kelsey Erickson Streufert said.
One of those owners who doesn’t feel pressure is Chicago Pizza Kitchen owner Thaddeus Turner.
“In regards to safety, not only for the community here in Wichita Falls but also the folks that work for me on a day to day basis so the decision was really a no-brainier,” Turner said.
In order to get to phase two, the 25% occupancy restriction will have to be met, something that will be enforced on the local level.
“as governor Abbott stated, really it’s enforceable, so we’ve really encouraged and really made sure all of our restaurants are aware that beginning tomorrow, these are the protocols that they must follow and that local authorities will be monitoring it,” Texas Restaurant Association president and CEO Dr. Emily Wright said.
“Even after May 1 because this is going to be a really long slow road to recovery even for those that are able to reopen quickly,” Streufert said.
The restaurant association says it will take restaurants on average nine months to make up the lost sales, so it’s more important now than ever to eat local.
“Each and every last one of us is really appreciative of what you guys have done thus far, continue to support them well after this pandemic,” Turner said.