Restaurants owners are expressing frustration with the Shelby County Health Department directive released Friday evening, worried the latest round of restrictions will deter people from dining out.
The directive, which takes effect Monday, requires restaurants and bars to close at 10 p.m. and caps them at 50% capacity as opposed to the 75% capacity they’re currently allowed.
Other notable restrictions include a six-person-per-table limit and a requirement that restaurant patrons wear masks in between bites and sips.
“I feel like the health department treats everybody like children,” said Halsey Werlein, general manager of Pontotoc Lounge on South Main.
“I don’t know how we’re gonna have somebody at each table right after they take a bite or they take a sip, have them pull up their mask,” Werlein said.
It’s a concern shared by other restaurant owners.
“We’re doing everything that we can and, you know, this is a burden on us,” said Memphis Restaurant Association President-elect Mike Miller, who also owns Patrick’s.