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Dine-in allowed next week, but will many restaurants open up?

From social distancing to securing a supply chain, issues could cause a delay in some restaurants from offering dine-in service.

PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey announced restaurants can offer dine-in service in just 5 days, on May 11. 

But how many of your favorite eateries will be able to follow new safety protocols and actually open up?

Restaurants throughout the Valley told 12 News the answer was, "I don't know" as the businesses try to navigate the challenges that come with offering dine-in services during a pandemic.

“It is really terrifying to think the landscape of our local neighborhoods and communities are going to change,” said Sasha Raj, owner of 24 Carrots. 

Some restaurants will never reopen after the stay at home order is lifted. 

Sasha said thankfully she is not one of them, but she does not know when her restaurant will once again offer a dine-in service. 

Like many other restaurants, she had to move her business online after Gov. Ducey's stay at home order. 

Her business has been reduced since then by 40% to 70%, depending on the week. 

“I feel a lot like we are treading water.,” Raj said. 

Despite the loss in revenue, Raj said she will not be ready to reopen on May 11. 

“I don’t know of many restaurants that are,” Raj said. 

The reason is that there are so many unknowns. 

First, the businesses must make sure it has enough supplies to actually cook for its dine-in customers as supplies may have dwindled over the last few months. 

Then, the governor's order requires businesses reopening to have proper social distancing. However, what does that look like for each store? If the number of customers allowed in the restaurant is also cut back, that limits the amount of money a restaurant can make at a time. 

“We have so many bills that we have to accommodate and we are not sure if the capacity of we are allowed to do is enough, and we don’t know if the capacity of what we are allowed to do is safe,” Raj said. "I just hope we do this right."

Raj said the impact of the virus could be felt well into the summer even if the virus is not getting thousands of people sick. 

Raj said the summer months are usually the slowest, while spring is one of the busier times. 


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