DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Employees at Shell Shack in Dallas spent Thursday preparing tables to once again seat customers, only now with precautions aimed at maintaining social distancing.
Placed six feet apart, each table has a paper table cover that’ll be replaced for each new group of customers. Condiments, like ketchup and hot sauce, will be served in single serving containersREAD MORE: Vaccinated For COVID-19? Now Show Me The App
After weeks of offering only curbside pickup and delivery, Shell Shack’s CEO Dallas Hale says he’s excited to open his restaurants again.
“I’ve had a tremendous amount of phone calls. People cannot wait to get in here,” he said.
The governor’s decision to cap occupancy at 25% for at least the next two weeks will keep the business from making money.
“I can tell you for a fact we can’t be profitable at 25% occupancy, but it’s better than nothing. It’s better than being shut down,” Hale said.
It’ll help pay the bills, though, which haven’t stopped.
More importantly, Hale says it’s allowed him to bring back almost all his employees after laying off 90% of them.
“I laid off people who’ve been with me for 15 years and that hurt,” he said.READ MORE: Twitter Sues Texas AG Ken Paxton Claiming Retaliation For Trump Ban
The reopening of restaurants and retail comes as Dallas County reports its highest single day increase in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The number of ICU beds and ventilators in use has also crept up over the last several weeks.
“That’s giving me some concern,” said Mayor Eric Johnson, noting more than two thirds of the county’s ICU beds are occupied.
The city has said it hopes businesses will voluntarily comply with the limits set by the governor.
Enforcing them would be difficult and expensive.
“It’s not a zero cost endeavor,” said Johnson, who’s asked federal and state partners for financial.
Hale says he’ll play by the rules as he’s happy to have a chance to get back in the game.MORE NEWS: 'Our Kids Have Thrived': Rural Peaster ISD Never Required Masks Or Distancing And Most Students Are On Track Academically
“I’m excited we finally get to get some people in here,” he said.