AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Restaurant Association wants Governor Greg Abbott to rethink the 51% alcohol sales order, which shutdown mostly bars across the state. The TRA said many eating establishments got caught up in this order, they are hopeful the governor will look at their new recommendations for what is a bar and what is a restaurant.
The Texas Restaurant Association is hoping to get the state to take another look at the recent executive order for bars closing. “We’ve been trying to work with the governor’s office to basically point out that not everyone selling more than 51% alcohol is in any way a bar,” said Melissa Stewart the Texas Restaurant Association executive director for the southeast region.
Stewart said when the governor issued the executive order about 1500 restaurants were caught up in it as their alcohol sales were higher than food.
“One of the things we point out is if you think about dining patterns about 10 years ago if you went out and had a burger and fries and 2 beers the burger would have been $10 and your beers could have been $3 to $5 So it balanced out but now we have these really cool craft cocktails and really interesting beer offerings that same meal easily becomes more than a 51% of your bill being attributed to alcohol,” said Stewart.
The Texas Restaurant Association sent a letter to the governor on how they feel a restaurant should be defined:
- It has a permanent kitchen with an exhaust hood.
- The kitchen is operational during all hours of operations with multiple entrees.
- Only serves patrons who are seated in accordance with social distancing protocols.
“The kitchen requirements there is a distinct difference between a bar and an eating establishment,” said Stewart.
According to Stewart, if a bar meets all these elements then they should also be allowed to open as well. “If you’ve gone to that investment, if you’ve gone to that to operate especially following all the protocols then we believe you should open as a restaurant and continue to serve your patrons,” said Stewart.
The TRA estimates that if the shutdown keeps up they estimate the state could lose 20% to 30% of their eating establishments.
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