Restaurant owners react to phase one of state reopening

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Restaurants will be able to be open to the public for indoor table service at 25% of their state fire marshal capacity. WVLA/WGMB’S Kennedi Walker spoke with restaurant owners who say this couldn’t come fast enough.

“We would like to go 100% but we’ll take 25%,” Mike Anderson said.

Mike Anderson owns popular seafood restaurants throughout the state. He says he’s been making do during the stay at home order but can’t wait for things to open. On May 15 restaurants, coffee shops and cafes will be able to open but only at 25% capacity.

“We’re very fortunate because we have a big restaurant and we can spread it out a lot, so it’s going to affect us more so on party’s and things like that but our restaurant is so big we can spread people out,” Anderson said.

Businesses are encouraged to continue to use health and safety equipment while working. Baton Rouge Area Chamber is pitching in by lending resources

“We don’t want this to happen again so it’s very important that we buy that equipment and ask staffs to wear it and ask our customers to honor that need to do it,” Adam Knapp said.

Knapp is the President and CEO of BRAC. HE says while 25% is better than nothing many will still struggle.

“For many employers 25% occupancy is going to be too little to actually operate in the black, so it’s going to be tough to start back and be losing money,” Knapp said.

That goes for smaller restaurants like Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.

“25% occupancy is going to be very limited for us,” Brian Wilson, owner of Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, said. “We are going to have to count people as they come in and certain other things that’s actually going to be more labor intensive.”

Wilson says hes staying optimistic and putting safety first.

“We know that people are ready to get out, we just want to do it right and make sure we don’t have a relapse,” Wilson said.

Phase one will last for 21 days. For more information on receiving PPE from BRAC visit their website: brac.org/ppe.

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