Texas restaurants adjust to new capacity rules following Gov. Abbott rollback


AUSTIN (KXAN) —On Monday, restaurants will have to scale back on how many people they allow inside.

“The Texican is really following the guidelines to the letter,” said owner Mourad Belkacem. “We are being extremely careful. We are disinfecting the surfaces. Of course we are wearing our masks.”​

On Friday, Gov Abbott signed an executive order which will reduce restaurant capacity from 75% to 50% in an effort to reduce surging COVID-19 cases in the state.

On Friday, the state reported a record 363 new hospitalizations. There are more than 5,100 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Texas. More than 5,700 new cases were reported, which is slightly lower than Thursday’s record of nearly 6,000 new cases.

What does the capacity limit mean for the Texican Cafe?​

“The 50%, 75% means nothing,” said Belkacem. “We can never be close to 75% as long as you have walls and you have to have tables six feet apart that is it. You are at your capacity.”​

Initially, when the virus first shut down in-person dining, the Texican saw more people calling in for pick up. ​

“We had to revamp, retrain and then we gained a little more in terms of business. We got up to about 50%,” said Belkacem.

The Texican Cafe laid off some staff, but was able to bring most of them back. The restaurant says they are currently looking to hire.

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