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Restaurants eager to open for indoor service starting Feb. 1

Michigan bars and restaurants have been closed for dine in service since November 18.
Michigan bars and restaurants have been closed for dine in service since November 18.(WJRT)
Published: Jan. 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM EST
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BURTON, Mich. (WJRT) - February 1 is when bars and restaurants will be allowed to resume dine-in service across the state at 25% capacity.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer made the announcement Friday.

Michigan bars and restaurants have been closed for dine in service since November 18.

“We love seeing our customers and we’ve missed them and we’re ready to start going,” said Jason Hester who owns Starlite Diner in Burton.

And that means making sure enough food is on order and delivered just in time for the doors to hopefully stay open permanently.

“We get multiple trucks per week so if the demand is greater than what we think it is, we can adjust on the fly,” Hester said.

Restaurants and bars will be limited to 25% capacity.

That means at a restaurant like Starlite with a capacity of 120 people, 31 will be allowed to dine in.

Tables will also need to be 6 feet a part and no more than 6 people to a table.

Restaurants will also be required to have a 10pm curfew and outdoor tents with four sides will be allowed.

Hester hasn’t had to lay off any of his employees with this last shutdown and he’s hoping it stays that way.

“The biggest challenge in the restaurant industry is doing the math. Every booth or every table has a certain value on it and you have to do a certain amount of business to make it worth while and to break even,” he said.

Restaurants will still be required to gather names and contact information of customers for contact tracing purposes.

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