Over the last few days, the phone at Dallas’ Bullion hasn’t stopped ringing with businesses and diners alike canceling reservations that had been made for the next couple of months.
“Throughout the week, we started to see a reduction in all of our group business, people traveling in, large parties. We started to see a reduction in just cancellation of fear. And certainly, we weren’t growing reservations over the week per usual,” Vice President of Hospitality Jason Cotton said.
Cotton puts the restaurant’s lost since Monday’s confirmation of the city’s first positive case of COVID-19 at around 30%.
In response, the restaurant decided to close its dining room except for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.
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It’s a decision Cotton said wasn’t easy to make, but he hoped would protect the restaurant’s staff and diners and bring an end to the decline in business sooner rather than later.
“As a whole as a city, restaurants aren’t what we necessarily need. We need to, you know, put an end to this so we can all get back to normal business,” Cotton said.
During that time, the Hartland-Mackie Family and the Labora Group plan to keep the restaurant’s 61 employees on the payroll.
During the time they’d normally prepare meals and serve diners, they’ll instead be asked to serve their community.
“We know that right now, we’ve got a real problem on our hands. We’re not capable of stopping that problem ourselves, but we can certainly help in that process,” Cotton said.
As they prepare to begin the new hours Monday, Cotton said they were still trying to figure out what this plan looks like.
He expected it could include buying groceries for the elderly or others considered high-risk during the pandemic. It could also mean helping with childcare as schools around North Texas remain closed.
Bullion is already working with several local nonprofits to offer help. Still, they welcome organizations and individuals at the highest risk and in need of non-financial assistance to reach out to Cotton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-859-0231.