KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With Kansas City, Missouri, announcing new COVID-19 guidelines that go into effect Friday, area restaurants have prepared all week and say they are ready for the new restrictions.
Jack Stack BBQ at the Freight House said the biggest change to operations is private dining events.
"Those large company gatherings are the ones that you're going to lose, you're hoping that some of that business goes to your catering division that can do some of that, but even then you're limited at the at the office building that people are working from home, so we'll lose some there but we'll also be able to re-utilize that space for normal dining, so we won't lose the time, we'll just lose those intimate kind of family gatherings," said general manager Tyler Banker.
Banker is worried about restaurants with less dining space than Jack Stack.
"We're blessed with a large capacity and lots of square footage. It's getting colder. There's smaller operations that just don't have the room inside to socially distance, so I always worry for them. And it's gonna be a tough winter. Kansas City is not the best moderate winter weather city that we have. So I do have, I do have some strong concerns about them being able to do indoor dining, but let's just hope for a moderate winter where patio heaters and tents can survive and really help keep some businesses afloat," Banker said.
At Q39 Midtown, owner Rob Magee said the changes they've made to comply with guidelines could be fixtures in the future.
"So the changes that we made go into reorganizing and put tables and build in booths and all the glass that's going to remain the same. So as we pick up in the dining room, we're going to continue to do what we did, all the investments we did, to make sure we take care of the customer. We're going to continue even with the vaccine, we're still going to make sure we take care of the customer. So going through this really hard time, at the end we’ll be a better restaurant than we were a year ago," Magee said.
However, like Q39, other restaurants are still facing a financial hurdle as the calendar year comes to a close.
"I would say my to-go business has doubled. You know, which sounds great, right? But the in-house business has dropped. So, total business, we're probably down about 35% of what we did last year," Magee said.
We've created a Facebook group, We're Open Kansas City, where members of the community can post businesses serving their community.