Restaurants preparing for indoor dining Thursday

Local News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Ohio Restaurant Association says it was a largely successful weekend as thousands of businesses reopened for outdoor dining. Now, the organization is looking ahead to when indoor dining returns this week. 

The Ohio Restaurant Association surveyed thousands of its members and expects 87% of all restaurants to reopen by the end of the month. But there’s a lot of ground to make up in order to get revenue closer to where it was before the shutdown.  

John Barker is the President & CEO of the Ohio Restaurant Association. He says, “There’s no question that people will not want to do it, customers for sure are not going to want to do that.”  

Barker acknowledges the new safety regulations are making for a very different dining experience. But he adds restaurants are following them, and they are working. “The fact that we’ve been given the right in Ohio, plus other states as well, to be able to go out to restaurants, you have to play by the rules.”  

Barker says it will still be a challenge to maximize revenue once indoor dining restarts Thursday. “Restaurants that are dealing with that are still going to have to do carryout, do their best to do delivery to get their total sales back up as high as they can, but it’s going to be tough. Even if you get to 75% of your previous sales that would be a difficult way to run your business.”  

Local public health departments are monitoring restaurants and bars, but warn an outbreak could occur at any time as the state reopens. Dan Suffoletto is the public information supervisor for Public Health of Dayton & Montgomery County. He says, “Just because businesses and bars and restaurants are opening up, that doesn’t mean we’re anywhere near the end of this. We’re really in the beginning of this in many ways.”  

At the state’s daily media briefing, Governor DeWine said the few restaurants and bars throughout the state that violated the regulations are endangering the health of the community. Dan Suffoletto says their inspectors found no violations when they made their rounds this weekend. 

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