Restaurant owners struggle with phase 2 reopening guidelines

SEATTLE -- Restaurant owners are paying very close attention to Governor Jay Inslee’s guidelines that detail what needs to happen before re-opening for business.

The requirements are specific and numerous. In total, the guidelines are three pages long.

Some restaurant owners told Q13 News they worry about being able to survive even if they are able to abide by the requirements.

Bianca Garguile owns Noah’s Arc in Bremerton. She says the restaurant has been in her family for three generations.

“Here is our dining room, it is empty,” she said.

Normally the dining room can seat up to 80 people. But it’s so small, social distancing is like an impossible endeavor.

For now, the restaurant will remain a take-out operation.

“That’s what we can do and we get to feed the hard-working people of Bremerton again,” said Garguile.

The requirements for all restaurants hoping to get back to some sense of normalcy are detailed and extensive.

Besides collecting phone numbers, emails and names of every customer, groups of five are also the largest allowed to sit together. The dining room capacity is also cut in half. All tables must be at least six-feet apart. Menus must also be disposable, and on-table condiments must be single use or sanitized after every use.

The owners of restaurants like Perry’s in Puyallup worry some of the requirements will make re-opening nearly impossible.

“We’ll be able to bring in about 22 people in,” said owner Ron Perry. “It’s going to be tough.”

Perry says he and his wife put nearly half a million dollars into the place, but they have only been open for a handful of days.

For now, curbside delivery has helped but only it covers a third of their expenses.

But even if the new requirements brings customers back through the doors at Perry, the owners worry they could lose everything.

“I’ve got to do whatever I can possible to bring a couple dollars in the door so I can hopefully operate when it all lifts, Perry said.