Restaurants in Houston are Cutting Hours and Closing Indoor Dining Forcefully by Omicron

Once again, Houston’s restaurants are suffering. COVID-19 omicron, a new variant, has been the main causal of this suffering.

Usually, many local restaurants experience increased business during the holidays. Currently, while some restaurants thrive, others are feeling the stress. According to iHeart, COVID fears have caused traffic to dry up. Last week, dozens of businesses closed. Several restaurants have reduced their operating hours, and others have temporarily closed indoor dining rooms.

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There is a high risk of spreading the new variant. According to Houston Chronicle, Omicron accounted for about half of Houston’s cases last week, according to Memorial Hermann doctors. Dr. Linda Yancey, an infectious disease specialist at Memorial Hermann, believes they will have 100 percent of our cases by this weekend.

“Unfortunately, most restaurants haven’t constructed that way and they need to rely on indoor dining and in-person dining in order to make their businesses work from a numbers standpoint,” Jonathan Horowitz of Convive Hospitality communicated.

Horowitz mentioned how a number of restaurants are switching to a takeout model (or returning to it in some cases).

“It’s so difficult to find staff right now so if they’re able to operate successfully with a reduced staff and just doing to-go business then it makes sense for them to do that,” he said.
His concern is that that might not be enough to sustain them for very long.

Axelrad owner Adam Brackman said he has had “a couple” of employees ill since omicron arrived in Houston. He said he has been forced to cancel indoor events in the wake of the variant spreading across the country.

“It’s the worst time for this to be surging,” he said. “The hospitality industry has been kicked to the ground for the last almost two years, and here’s our bread-and-butter holiday season and people are not going to be going out as much.”

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