Latest Abbott decree eats into local restaurants' profits

Local restaurants looking to hire
Posted at 9:13 PM, Mar 19, 2020

If you stop by any local restaurants, you can’t miss the empty tables, empty chairs and no customers inside. But many are making the best out of a tough situation by offering curbside service or free delivery, within a certain radius.

Thursday afternoon, Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order that prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people. That requires bars, restaurants and food courts to close their doors.

KRIS 6 News spoke to several local businesses to see how they're changing their normal routine to ensure customers can still enjoy their meals and drinks.

Customers at Luciano’s Italian Restaurant now have to place their order by phone or in-person. The food can then be picked up at the restaurant, or delivered within a 15-mile radius for free.

“We were planning on having dinner at that little table right there," said customer David Coweling. "But now we’re just going to do pickup. I’m very happy they’re still doing that, but it’s quite different. You miss part of the experience going out to eat.”

The number of guests inside the restaurant also have been limited to seven.

“It’s very different, but the love and support on social media has been amazing,” said restaurant owner Joseph Douglas. “But we set up vehicle policies for our staff. And for our customers, however we can get out there -- curbside, carryout or delivery.”

Staff at another business across town, Impact Nutrition, said they saw business slow down for one day last week. So they went into solution mode, coming up with ideas to be prepared, and told their customers they would begin curbside service and offer free delivery on orders of at least $20 beginning this week.

“On Monday, we were letting our customers know as they came in. We saw things getting crazy and really wanted to accommodate,” said employee Thomas Gonzalez.

For him, the new routine is also about helping essential personnel who are still at work in grocery stores and hospitals with a healthy drink or shake that could benefit them during the COVID-19 scare.

“They need a lot of protection right now and they are the ones fighting the battle,” said Impact Nutrition owner Rebekah Gonzalez. “So if we can take nutrition to them and be able to provide them (then we’re doing our part)."

Both the Gonzalezes also said they're optimistic business won't slow down for them because they say their drinks and shakes can even provide immune support during a vulnerable time.

Abbott’s order will last at least two weeks.

“We’re just trying to get back to the way it was and provide fine dining experience, and what we’re known for,” Douglas said.

“Everything is going to be okay these next two weeks, and this too shall pass,” said Rebekah Gonzalez.