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The mayor of Dallas has declared a state of emergency for the city, which allowed him to close all bars, restaurants, gyms and theaters within the city limits to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Dallas and Collin Counties then instituted the same restrictions.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson decreed that bars and restaurant dining rooms must close beginning Tuesday, March 17, but restaurants are permitted to operate delivery and take-out.
Dallas and Collin Counties followed suit, adding the cities of Allen, Frisco, Plano and McKinney to the shutdown.
The mayor said code enforcement officials and the Dallas police department will enforce the order. Collin County Judge Chris Hill announced the Collin County disaster declaration for Collin on Monday “to better position and prepare the county and its communities to respond to the public health emergencies that may arise from the coronavirus outbreak.”
A number of restaurants are acting to protect their staff. Though many have temporarily laid off the bulk of their workers, several have committed to paying their staff during the shutdown. Those good-guy restaurants include The Charles and Bar Charles and Dallas Country Club.
Our sources say Harwood International will soon announce that the Dallas based company will also pay wages to the full-time staff at their collection of restaurants (Dolce Riviera, Happiest Hour, Magnolias: Sous Le Pont, Marie Gabrielle Restaurant & Gardens, Mercat Bistro, Opening Soon: Harwood Arms, Saint Ann Restaurant & Bar, Te Deseo, The Grove at Harwood) during the downturn. We’re told those payments will last at least a week.
Darden Restaurants (the parent company of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood, The Capital Grille and the six casual dining restaurant chains Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, Bahama Breeze, Seasons 52, Yard House and Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen), quickly instituted a paid sick leave program their staff.
We also heard from many small restaurants that they’d like to take care of their staff, but there’s simply no cash reserve or enough take-out business to disperse cash to employees. Instead, they’re letting them take home perishable goods when possible.
If you know of other operators who are taking care of their staff in other generous ways, shoot us a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) or join our discussion on Facebook.