What phase three means for local restaurants


LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- Some Lafayette restaurants say although the state has moved into phase three, they still feel like they’re in phase two.

“It’s kind of like, did we really move forward? I know some people are calling it phase 2.0 or 2.1, so we feel like we didn’t take a leap forward,” Tim Metcalf, owner of Dean-O’s, said.

Metcalf says phase three means two big differences for restaurants.

For one, restaurants can now operate at 75% capacity instead of 50%, but Metcalf says because they have to spread the tables out so much for social distancing already, they really can’t fit many more customers in the restaurant anyways.

“The social distancing requirement doesn’t really allow us to put more tables in because we just don’t have enough square footage,” he said. “Saturday night I think we were peaked out at 54% of occupancy because we just didn’t have enough tables for customers.”

The second big difference from phase two is that bars and restaurants must stop selling alcohol after 10 p.m.

For restaurants like Dean-O’s who stay open past ten, that’s actually hurting their sales.

“I figured he would go to 75% and keep the social distancing, but the 10 p.m. closing caught me off guard,” he added.

Metcalf says in phase two, the restaurant could sell alcoholic drinks until they closed, but that’s not the case anymore.

Regardless of the new rules, Metcalf says he’s grateful to be open and hopes the state doesn’t slide back into phase one.

“We want common place restrictions. We want to be able to stop the virus, but we also want to be able to make a living and pay our employees,” he said.

In phase three, bars are also allowed to re-open, but only bars in parishes with less than a five percent infection rate.

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