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Here’s what Texas restaurants must do when they reopen Friday

Restaurant social distancing
Michael Stravato/Texas Tribune
Social distancing signs mark tables as a Houston restaurant prepares to reopen for business.

EL PASO, Texas--  Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has said that restaurants will be allowed to open on Friday.  This comes as some in the Borderland would like to return to eating at some of El Paso's favorite dining hot spots.

Abbott's restrictions for re-opening restaurants include that they can only re-open to 25% capacity and all diners must be at least 6 feet away from each other.  There can be no more than 6 people per table and there will be no more condiment bottles, only packet condiments will be available.

There are a few Borderland restaurants, though, that are going to take a more cautious approach before opening their doors.

Famed L and J restaurant owner Leo Duran said he is "not planning on opening at this time. We are probably going to wait maybe a week or two to see how things are moving along."

Rib Hut on the far east side of El Paso has been operating their drive thru throughout the pandemic - and now Rib Hut will be reopening all their locations on Friday.

Rib Hut manager Rich Hardin II said "the local community has supported this operation very well and they have done it through the drive thru," which allowed the restaurant to stay afloat financially.

Here is a list of the rules that Abbott has outlined for restaurants to reopen:

  • When you first walk into the restaurant, the state recommends that the business should have hand sanitizer available for customers.
  • The tables shouldn't have more than six people at them at a time.
  • Restaurants should offer customers disposable menus, one per diner.
  • Restaurants shouldn't have silverware, plates or glasses on the table if no one is seated there yet.
  • Restaurants shouldn't offer shared condiments.
  • Customers should only get single-use condiments, and only if they ask for them.
  • It is important for tables to have six feet of space between them. So, you may see them physically spaced, or you may see restaurants block off certain tables in order to keep parties apart from each other in the dining area.
  • If you're at a buffet, you shouldn't be able to serve yourself. An employee has to serve you.
  • When customers pay, contactless payment is preferred to avoid hands touching money or credit cards. Customers may pay their bill through an app on their phone.
Article Topic Follows: Biz/Tech

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Wil Herren

Wil Herren is a former ABC-7 news and sports reporter.


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