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Local restaurants prep for major changes

Restaurants bracing for big business on final day before executive order goes into place.
Posted at 3:49 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 20:18:30-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Just before midnight tonight, the executive order closing restaurant dining rooms signed by Governor Greg Abbott will go into effect.

Restaurants in the Coastal Bend will only serve the community through delivery, take out or curbside service, and they are having to adjust to the new normal.

"I mean you gotta do what you gotta do," Stefani Sevilla, the manager at Taqueria Garibaldi said.

The closing of the dining rooms is causing restaurants to react by cutting staff that will be non-essential during the next two weeks.

"We've got 22 employees and now we are only going to have six," Jose Sevilla, the owner of Taqueria Garibaldi said.

Other restaurants in the community such as Hester's Cafe, have already made their adjustments in the wake of the COVID-19 virus and it is starting to take a toll.

"We're about one week into some significant changes we're down like a lot of restaurants like 50-60%," Jason Rodriguez, co-owner of Hester's Cafe said.

They have already begun making their staffing changes, and are working with what Rodriguez refers to as a "skeleton crew." Some employees have already been furloughed.

"We talked with our employees about who needs the hours, who is fine without the hours," Rodriguez said.

Hester's will close their other two locations and only be running takeout services at their Lamar Park location. Rodriguez hopes these changes are temporary.

"Our full intent is to resume business as usual after this," he said.

Restaurants will have a tough road ahead, and they are hoping the community continues to show support in what might be their darkest hour.

"They say they are going to still be here," Sevilla said. "We will still use the drive-thru."

The executive order given by Governor Abbott is slated to run until April 3, for now.