CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — With COVID-19 cases soaring statewide, Gov. Greg Abbott Friday tightened restrictions on the service industry, as restaurants have to limit capacity to 50 %, starting Monday.
For the service industry, business was booming. But as new coronavirus cases started spiking a couple weeks ago, things took a turn for the worse.
“After the cases were up, I think the people backed off a little bit,” said Jordan Jaradat.
At Jaradat’s Southside restaurant Chops & Eggs, guests are greeted with an outdoor hand washing station, the staff all wear masks and every table is sanitized between meals. Important steps to keep COVID-19 out of his restaurant.
“We are trying to keep the spread controlled,” said Jaradat. “This way we stay in business, the whole city is staying in business.”
Jaradat, like many restaurant owners, was happy to be busy again after more than a month of nothing but serving nothing but take-out.
“Restaurants are hurting, the restaurants in the Coastal Bend have all taken a big hit during this pandemic,” said Coastal Bend Restaurant Association President Kathy Snapka.
Snapka supports Gov. Abbott’s order because it keeps restaurants open. That same order closed bars completely, so restaurant ownrs are grateful to still be open, even if they have to scale back.
“If scaling back and putting these restrictions in place helps us to stay open, serve the public safely, and keep our staff safe, we’re 100% in support of that,” said Snapka.
Keeping dining rooms open keeps employees on the job, which Jaradat believes is just as important as keeping people safe.
“We are going to do our best to keep the staff employed, to keep the lights on,” said Jaradat.
State officials will re-examine restaurant capacity in a couple weeks. In the meantime, local eateries will have to deal with emptier dining rooms.