KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
April 29, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
This Friday, Texas restaurants will be allowed to welcome dine-in guests, however they must meet the strict guidelines outlined by Governor Greg Abbott. Local restaurants are following his guidelines while taking additional precautions to serve Katy residents.
Restaurants Will Follow New Rules to Reopen
New rules outlined by the CDC and Texas Governor Greg Abbott will allow restaurants to open for dine-in this Friday. Local eateries will still offer take-out and curbside pickup. But to many restaurant owners, being able to welcome guests back into the dining room is a big step.
“This has been a roller coaster ride that is unprecedented,” says Kevin Wann, co-owner of Texas Borders Bar and Grill. “It’s an amazing feeling. Kellie and I are beyond excited. It’s our life and what we live for.”
Measures To Keep Guests Safe
Added measures will be taken to allow restaurants to open and keep the public safe from the coronavirus.
· Seat parties no larger than six guests
· Offer disposable menus
· Permit 25% of occupancy capacity inside
· Maintain six-feet-apart guidelines
· Install hand sanitization stations
· Provide to-go cups and cutlery
· Offer single-serve condiments
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending even more precautions that diners won’t see in the back of the house, including checking employee temperatures.
“We are following Abbott’s guidelines to a T and then some,” says Wann.
“We know the number of occupants for inside and outside dining and will be seating six feet or more apart,” says Wann. “Our entire restaurant has been cleaned, disinfected, and scrubbed over the last five weeks.”
“We are looking forward to opening with the new rules,” says Casey Castro, owner of Astor Farm to Market.
Castro says he and his staff will follow all rules as outlined, and continue to focus on the importance of hand washing and knowing the how and when to do so.
“I will ensure that the person in charge of food is a certified food safety manager and that someone with that qualification is onsite at all times during operating hours,” explains Castro.
Focusing on Staff Health
“We’re checking employee temperatures when they arrive and in between shifts,” says Wann. “We have forms we will fill out daily to record that this is done, as well as when restrooms are cleaned. After each customer, the table and chairs will be cleaned like normal and then sanitized with Microban, the same solution that hospitals use.”
Katy favorite Snappy’s announced that they would open for dine-in services this Friday. "We are very excited to return to some kind of normal," says Bobby Katsabas, owner of Snappy's.
Residents Express Concern
While many local restaurants are taking precautions and getting ready for the first phase of Texas reopening, some residents are still hesitant.
“I want things to reopen, but high (COVID-19) case numbers are still coming in,” writes Shelly Williams on social media. “And not nearly enough testing available. It’s too early and too risky for me. I’ll wait.”
Check with local restaurants to ensure they are open, or if they require a reservation.
In-restaurant dining is part of the first step to reopening Texas and helping the struggling economy. If patrons and restaurant operators observe proper safety measures and social distancing practices, and there’s no reported spike in COVID-19 cases, the Governor’s second phase of his Executive Order can be implemented on May 18.
To see Governor Abbott’s Report to Open Texas, visit the website.
Follow Katy Magazine Foodies for more restaurant announcements.