Dallas Food and Beverage Industry Takes a Hit as COVID-19 Restrictions Continue

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Dallas City Council will meet Wednesday morning. Of course, health and safety come first, but Mayor Eric Johnson says the local economy will also be a part of the discussion.

Already, the food and beverage service industry has taken a hit.

Sammy Mandell owns Gap Co. Pizza in Lower Greenville. Times are uncertain for restaurant owners and their employees.

“It’s very surreal. Kind of feels like this is a dream right now,” Mandell said.

He said he sensed this coming days ago.

“By the time I was going to bed on Sunday, I was kind of like, 'Well this is going to happen,'” he said.

And he was right. Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson announced additional restrictions Monday due to COVID-19. Within those guidelines, restaurants were limited to takeout and delivery services only.

It’s a move that could be life-changing for some.

“I’d say the number one fear right now is that this gets worse,” Mandell said.

Luckily for Mandell, pizza has done well. Sixty-five percent of his business usually comes from deliveries and takeout anyway, but he said and others were worried about what’s next.

“Are they going to take away the delivery and the curbside pickup? That is very, very scary,” he said.

Frustration and fear are seen on the faces of many people across the city.

Sam Wynne of Brain Dead Brewing in Deep Ellum sits on what he calls his “front porch” to let people know business is still open.

“I have about 45 employees at Brain Dead and about 30 of them I had to tell I don’t have anything for them right now,” Wynne said.

His employees have questions that he simply doesn’t have the answers to right now. He said that’s what concerns him the most.

“A lot of them don’t have $500, a lot of them don’t have health insurance,” he said. “And a lot of them feel like they’re not going to be able to get a job for the next two to eight weeks.”

Johnson said he hoped local, state and federal governments can lessen the blow to the service industry.

But Wynne said his employees need work today.

“Those are hard conversations because we’re all looking at trouble on the horizon,” he said.

Wynne said he’s down to 15 employees from his usual 40.

Dallas City Council will meet Wednesday morning at 9 am.

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