Restaurants get ready to expand capacity to 75% under governor’s order

Restaurant tables should be 6 feet apart or 4 feet apart with a barrier

SAN ANTONIO – Restaurants can expand their occupancy level to 75% starting Friday, but some local restaurant owners said it’s impossible to expand occupancy due to social distancing guidelines.

According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, restaurants can operate at 75% capacity for dine-in service.

“Even though a restaurant may be open at 75% capacity, if you think about their floor plan and how they lay out their tables and their chairs, it’s just not possible for many of them to get to that 75% threshold,” said Anna Tauzin, chief revenue and innovation officer of the Texas Restaurant Association.

The following are health protocols that restaurants should follow:

  • Tables should be six feet apart
  • Tables can be four feet apart if a partition is used between tables
  • No tables of more than 10 people
  • Hand sanitizing stations should be made available

Gay Capparelli, owner of Capparelli’s on Main, said many restaurants are already strapped for cash, so it’s hard to make adjustments to restaurants.

“It’s very frustrating because the 75% really isn’t going to make a difference for us. There’s not enough space in the restaurant. So keeping everything six feet apart, we really only have enough room to maybe put four more seats in,” Capparelli said.

The full list of health protocols for restaurants can be found here.

Also on Friday, other businesses that have been required to operate at 50% capacity can increase to 75% if they live in a county with 10 or less active COVID-19 cases.

RELATED: Governor Greg Abbott announces Phase III of reopening Texas

About the Authors

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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