Restaurants back open but with some changes

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Restaurants are now allowed to serve customers in dining rooms and operate at 25% capacity under phase one of Gov. Greg Abbott's reopening plan for the state.

Still, one Houston restaurant said the decision to open was not easy.

"We thought through the process of instead of people coming in through the front door, we've now got a second door that they've got to come in. We're going to give them hand sanitizer the moment they walk through the door. We're going to require that they do wear face masks, at least when they walk through and order their food at the counter, and then once they get to the table, they can take it off and enjoy their meal," said Common Bond executive chef Jason Gould.

Some of the changes you'll see at Common Bond's locations include social distancing stickers on the floor, hand sanitizers by the registers, single use condiments and disposable items such as menus.

These are the guidelines restaurants must follow in order to keep customers safe.

  • Hand sanitizer must be available
  • Tables cannot have more than six people. At Common Bond, they'll allow no more than four people per table
  • Condiments will be available on request instead of on the table to limit the spread of germs
  • Contactless payment, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, is encouraged

But as to whether Texas is ready to reopen, reactions appear to be mixed among customers.

"I'll be kind of sticking to my quarantine schedule which is mostly going to work and then grocery shopping as needed, but not trying to be out and social for a bit of time," said one woman.

"I think it's a good thing, but I do think people need to be cautious and do it slowly, so that we can sort of maybe readjust things, if we need to," another person said.
Others disagreed.

"Yeah, I think it's reckless. I think it's reckless at this point in time until we have a true understanding of what we're dealing with and how it works and how it can be passed along," one man said.

Back at Common Bond, the staff are getting temperature checks every day before a shift. All three locations are back open as of 8 a.m.

But if you're not ready to dine in, curbside pickup and to-go options will still be available.


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