Atlanta restaurants question restrictions as COVID-19 cases surge

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — Atlanta restaurant owners are having a difficult time with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ reversal of reopening plans.

The inconsistencies between what the mayor and governor recommend make it tough for everyone, including business owners who are confused on how to operate and better serve their customers while keeping them safe.

Long lines and happy hungry customers, that’s how Dennis McKinley likes to see his restaurant The Hot Dog Factory in Atlanta.

“We are America’s best hot dog,” said McKinley. “Our core of business is pick up, takeout or delivery so we had to adjust just for the manpower to meet the extra demand of pick up and delivery.”

The return of his customers is a sigh of relief after having to temporarily close his business earlier this year due to the pandemic.

“People that come in got to be 6-feet apart, we are requiring customers to wear masks, not only our customers but our employees as well,” he added.

But just as business started to pick up so did Covid cases in the peach state.

On Tuesday Georgia reported an increase 3,394 covid cases. On Monday state health officials reported 3,643 cases.

The alarming increase in cases prompted the Mayor of Atlanta to reverse the city’s opening plan back to Phase 1, a sharp contrast from Governor Brian Kemp’s guidelines.

“Our customer base is confused, they don’t know if we’re open, if we’re closed so I think that overall that puts us back a little bit.”

Gov. Kemp calls the mayor’s guidelines legally unenforceable.

McKinley just wants some clarity

“I mean I would love for Keisha to get on the same page as the governor and you know follow those rules,” said McKinley.

And while some restaurants like The Hot Dog Factory will be keep its dine-in option shut down. The Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, which runs seven area restaurants, announced that its businesses would remain open despite the city’s latest restrictions.

The Georgia Restaurant Association also put out a statement siding with Kemp. They say the “inconsistencies of different municipal orders” may be difficult to enforce and confusing for small business owners who are already struggling amid the pandemic.


Courtesy: CBS 46