Today marks another important step forward as the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) works hand-in-hand with Governor Abbott’s team, our members, our customers, and our employees to rebuild the foodservice industry.
Texas restaurants have proven that food and beverage businesses, including bars, can welcome customers back while implementing the social distancing and sanitation protocols we need to keep customers and employees safe. We are pleased to see Governor Abbott acknowledge this success and the hard work of our restaurant employees by allowing restaurants to expand their occupancy to 50% (not including employees, contractors, and outdoor spaces), beginning on May 22. We are also very pleased to see that bars can reopen beginning May 22 under Minimum Standard Health Protocols that are very similar to the Texas Bar Promise that we submitted to Governor Abbott’s office last week. We greatly appreciate the Governor’s ongoing leadership and collaboration.
While today was a good day, we know operating at 25% or even 50% occupancy will not enable restaurants and bars to overcome the financial devastation they experienced due to sudden, government-mandated closures. TRA will continue to champion a safe and sustained reopening, as well as the financial aid and regulatory relief that Texas’ restaurants and bars need to continue to serve our communities.
Note: The restaurants in counties of El Paso, Randall, Potter, Moore and Deaf Smith are not permitted to move to Phase II Reopening. Their beginning date is pushed back one week to May 29, which will help give surge team and locals time to respond to community needs. Bars in these areas may not open at any capacity right now.