Local restaurants struggle with loss of business due to King Co vaccine mandate

Some King County business owners say within the short time frame of the county's proof of vaccine mandate, the impact has been severe. 

Chan’s Place in Woodinville would normally be packed around dinner time, but within the last four days, staff said at least half the tables are empty. 

"I knew we were going to have some resistance, I knew we were going to have some problems but I didn’t realize how badly it was going to affect the business," said owner Steve Tracy. 

Tracy said like all restaurants they struggled with the multiple shutdowns and mask policies. But now, "the amount of business that’s walking out the door or not coming right now is worse than ever." 

And it’s not just tough financially. "They get upset, they scream, they say something really nasty and out the door," said Tracy. 

When customers get asked to show their card, staff told FOX 13 News about half are not happy about it. 

"It has been so foul. People have yelled at us, they've cursed at us, screamed at us that they're never coming back," said a long time waitress. Several staff members said the treatment from angry customers has been so bad, they asked to remain anonymous. 

A hostess of 30 years told us she had a pen thrown at her by an enraged customer who didn’t have their card. "It doesn’t faze me anymore," she said.

"We didn’t elect to do this but we have to if we want to stay in business and they’re just trying to do the job they’re asked to," said, Tracy who has seen the mistreatment of his staff. 

Tracy said many people who come in seem shocked, completely unaware of the countywide mandate. Tracy said it’s particularly hard being so close to the Snohomish County line. People who don’t want to show their card just drive a mile down the road there. 

"I’m all for getting through this, being safe, getting past the COVID but it’s just stress after stress after stress." 

Tracy said he’s filed a complaint with King County about the mandate, and wants officials to understand how severely this is affecting his business. He hopes going forward more customers will understand the requirement is completely out of his hands, and won’t take it out on his staff.

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