Restaurant owners have mixed feelings on Gov. Kemp’s decision to allow dine-in services


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – After Governor Kemp gave dine-in restaurants the green light, some owners are preparing with extra sanitation efforts.

Not all restaurants owners agree with Governor Kemp’s decision, but the ones that do are ready to get back to normal, like Fat Man’s Cafe.

Their doors may be closed right now, but Fat Man’s Hospitality group will be open for dine-in services officially on May 1st, and they’re taking extra precautions like adding an outside sink.

They are keeping furniture at a social distance with markings on the floor. Plexiglass shields will cover serving stations. Food is served in to-go containers, and at least one employee per restaurant is assigned to disinfecting tables and chairs after each customer.

Brad Usry with Fat Man’s Hospitality Group, says, “I think the decision should be in the business persons hands. We’ll follow all of the guidelines of the Georgia Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association, which is one person every 50 ft. All of our employees will wear masks. All of our employees will be gloved while serving.”

Usry told NewsChannel 6 that he appreciates Governor Kemp giving the voluntary decision to open to the restaurant owners.

However, many owners say the economy boost is not worth their health. Some restaurants around town, like Wild Wing Café on Washington Road are saying “no way.”

The owners at the Wild Wing franchise told me they take temperatures of their employees. They say if and when they open back up, they’ll be doing the same for customers walking through the door.

Their curbside service is still available, they just don’t feel comfortable exposing their staff or customers to something they think is only going to get worse.

Co-Owner, Wild Wing Cafe, Tricie Scholer, says, “we’re going to have to change our lifestyle anyways. This is going to be our life for quite a while. So, let’s just go ahead and do it, but I just don’t think that while we have not even reached our peak that it’s a good time to start it. We just really feel like we’re not ready.”

Many of the restaurants we spoke to that are not opening, say they are going to wait it out until at least May 1st as previously planned.

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