Mike Lafavers, the owner of Feedstore BBQ in Southlake, said it simply didn’t make financial sense for him to reopen his dining room.
“Our occupancy at 116 people—25% of 116 is 29,” he said. “That's not really a large number of people, and what complicates our situation is that we are considered a quick-serve restaurant.”
Feedstore BBQ is still offering takeout services, and Lafavers said fulfilling orders can be time-consuming given the size and customization of his menu.
"We decided that we were going to keep our entire menu not narrow down,” he said. "I got 21 different sides. If you look at ... three [vegetables], two sides with three different sauces, imagine the number of the combination of plates that you can make.”
Lafavers said he plans to wait until the occupancy cap changes before considering opening his dining space.
"I think 50% will really make it advantageous,” Lafavers said. "That way, we're not having to worry about a small number of tables being open for people.”
He isn’t alone in his decision to keep the dining room closed. According to a survey by the Texas Restaurant Association, 56.61% of restaurants are choosing not to reopen or are unsure if they will over do so during the next week.
Though the barbecue restaurant’s dining space may be closed, Lafavers has placed picnic benches on some of the open green space that his restaurant sits on.
Meanwhile, Big Daddy’s Ship Store owner Mike Armand seized on the opportunity to reopen parts of his dining space—most of which is on a patio. Armand said that takeout operations have been so successful that he is not concerned about the 25% occupancy cap.
“Our business has been really good, so I look at this as a 25% boost, not a limitation, because the way we've been operating the last month was no diners,” he said.
City officials have also expressed their eagerness to reopen businesses. Southlake Mayor Laura Hill said on a call with the city’s business community April 29 that work has been underway to encourage business openings.
“We are already well into recovery and how we're going to get our businesses up,” Hill said. “Many of you have seen the sign regulations have been eased. We're now talking to numerous restaurants about opening up patio seating where they didn't have patio seating before.”
Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton said that he was ultimately pleased with how Abbott’s order allowed more businesses to partially open.
“I, like many of you, was on the edge of my chair in anticipation of what the governor was going to say this week,” Colleyville Mayor Richard Newton said. “I believe he reaffirmed what we did last week, and he even went further than was expected.”