Uncertainty for restaurant owners as Phase 2 plans unfold

The last line in this graphic spells out just part of the criteria restaurants need to meet in order to reopen for dine-in service in Washington. (graphic: KOMO News)

Restaurants have been financially crushed by closures and restrictions from the virus pandemic. Now eight of Washington's 39 counties are opening for Phase 2 which allows restaurants to have limited dine-in service provided they follow a variety of criteria for sanitization and distancing along with acquiring customer contact data for possible tracing.

All these criteria have restaurants in Washington's bigger counties skeptical that they'll be able to turn a profit with the Phase 2 requirements.

Marnie Hayes is the owner of Firehouse Pub/Lumberjack's Restaurant in Buckley, Pierce County.

“I think it’s going to make it almost impossible for small businesses to reopen without a ridiculous amount of overhead,” said Hayes. “Menus that have to be tossed every day. Someone to get paid to just walk around and make sure we have everyone’s information who’s sitting at a table.”

Restaurant owners tell KOMO News with the half-capacity seating limit, dining room sales will be reduced by at least 50 percent.

“I don't know if we can really open," Hayes said. "I wonder if its advantageous for us to wait until its 100% capacity."

Every restaurant will face added costs because of the extra regulations.

“The math doesn’t add up. It doesn’t t add up for businesses,” Hayes said. “We’ll figure it out. But, it’s going be impossible to make money.”

Click the photo above to hear part of the KOMO News story.

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