RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — At least six states have shut down bars and restaurants amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.
So far, North Carolina is not one of them.
State public health officials announced Monday they’re recommending there be no gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. An executive order is in place for no more than 100 people to gather.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation and we’ll continue to re-assess and if further action is needed, then the governor has been clear that he will take them,” said Dr. Betsey Tilson, North Carolina State Health Director.
Although there hasn’t been a state mandate, some restaurants are choosing to close their dining rooms.
“It’s been a little crazy,” said Sharon May, owner of Relish Craft Kitchen and Bourbon Bar.
May said business hasn’t come to a standstill, but she still decided to close the dining rooms at Relish because of coronavirus concerns.
She said she wants to put the safety of her staff and customers first.
They’re still encouraging customers to order delivery and takeout, along with take-and-bake dishes.
Customers said they’re happy to show their support.
“It smells amazing, I’m very excited,” said customer Tony Santana.
Several chain restaurants, like Chick-Fil-A, Starbucks and Taco Bell, along with other local restaurants are no longer allowing people to dine inside.
They’re moving to drive-through and delivery only.
Health officials said takeout is probably safer than eating in a restaurant.
Many businesses are offering incentives to combat losing money.
“Money is probably the biggest concern for everybody,” said May.
The restaurant Soca in Cameron Village is offering a $10 gift card for every $50 spent in takeout.
“Business has definitely dipped, so we’re trying to find some creative solutions to that so we can kind of weather the storm,” said Soca general manager Emily Smith.
Industry workers ask people to keep them in mind for future meals. They say every bit of support helps during this unprecedented time.
“Our people work paycheck to paycheck and looking forward — I don’t know how much I can fund them personally or myself,” said May.
A few restaurants, including Relish, have also said they’re going to start GoFundMe pages for their wait staff because many live paycheck to paycheck.
For the state’s latest recommendations for businesses, go here.
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