Local restaurant puts procedures in place while they wait to get the green light to re-open

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FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – Although there is no set date as to when restaurants will be able to start offering dine-in again, one local restaurant is already putting procedures in place.

“Whatever is necessary, if we need to check our temperatures or customer temperatures, we have thermometers, we’re ready for it,” said Vatche Moukhtarian, owner of Cracked Pepper Bistro.

Moukhtarian said sales have dropped 75% and that they can’t rely on takeout.

He has bought face shields for his employees and thermometers in case that becomes a requirement. He’s also separated the tables so there’s a 6-foot distance in between them.

“Looking at just the capacity of restaurants, we’re probably going to have to keep that capacity much more limited so spacing can take place for customers and employees,” Fresno County Supervisor Nathan Magsig said.

Magsig said the local California Restaurant Association has been working with the county and the Department of Public Health in regards to guidelines that would need to be put in place.

“If some move quickly and work collaboratively with the state and with their county board of supervisors and health directors, they’ve put the tracing and tracking, they’ve put the surge plans together, they have strategies to protect the most vulnerable and they have trigger plans and measurements that allow them to pull pack and they abide by these guidelines and they prepare for them, we can see that happening in the next week or so,” Newsom said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Thursday if counties have plans and procedures set in place, restaurants could start to open soon as long as they follow modifications and rules set by state dine-in guidelines. Those guidelines will be released on Tuesday.

“I think that’s really important, in how businesses are going to gain the public trust as well, that they know that we are taking procedures to keep everybody safe seriously,” said Lorraine, co-owner of Sal Mexican Restaurants.

Restaurants locally recognize that it’s not just about reopening — it’s also about gaining customers’ trust.

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