Phase III Reopening Protocols for Restaurants & Bars

Jun 3

Today, Texas restaurants and bars took another major step forward on their path to recovery with updated protocols provided by Governor Abbott’s office.  

The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) is grateful that Governor Abbott and his Strike Force to Open Texas have once again worked hand-in-hand with us to help restaurants and bars safely expand their businesses. We understand from the medical experts that social distancing has to remain in place for the foreseeable future to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but we also know many restaurants and bars cannot expand capacity beyond 50% or make a profit under the current protocols. Working closely with the Governor’s team, we got creative, with the result that restaurants can immediately: 

  • Seat parties of up to 10 guests at a table, 
  • Use all of their booths with partitions to keep guests safe, and 
  • Reduce the distance between tables to four feet with partitions to separate parties.   

Also, restaurants can expand to 75% occupancy on June 12, 2020, becoming the first industry to reach this milestone. Together, these changes are a major step forward for our restaurants, which need to safely seat more guests to become successful in the post-COVID-19 environment. 

We also thank Governor Abbott and his team for adopting our recommendation to allow bars to expand to 50% occupancy and increase their table size to parties of 10. And, both restaurants and bars can safely reopen valet services and video games/ interactive amusements, which will drive additional, necessary business.  

“We know restaurants and bars still have a long and uncertain path towards recovery, but today’s announcement brings us one step closer to our shared goal of rebuilding our economy while keeping employees and customers safe,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO of TRA. “The Texas Restaurants Association thanks Governor Abbott and his team for their hard work and leadership, and we stand ready to help all of Texas’ food and beverage businesses implement the new protocols.”

Updated Protocols


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