Restaurants prepare to operate under Kemp’s guidelines

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Governor Kemp released new guidelines for restaurants to open dine-in services starting Monday.

Some restaurant owners think now is not the time.

“We don’t think it’s time. We think it’s too soon,” said Mike Seekins, owner of Famous Mike’s.

This past Monday, Kemp said restaurants can open their dining rooms on April 27. Seekins says he’s keeping his dining room closed until Memorial Day weekend.

“The basic opinion is you’re putting people’s lives in danger, yours, your employees, people you don’t know. People feel as though it’s just too soon,” he said.

Seekins says he also refuses to open because he thinks people will still not go out.

“It’s hard to predict how much food to buy to be prepared to sell,” Seekins said. “So you have to use past history of records of sales. There’s no way to do that right now.”

Tommy Sadler — owner of Tommy’s Bakery and Cafe — says his business will not open Monday. Instead, he will open May 1.

“Not so much because of the virus, we’re just not ready,” Sadler said. “We still have things to do. We have our drive-thru, I have chairs and tables to arrange to be compliant to the governor’s orders.”

He says the pandemic didn’t hurt his business because he added a drive-thru.

“Ready to eat meals. We actually had to buy more stuff because we have to keep up,” Sadler said. “We sell them as fast as we can make them.”

Sadler says he will reopen his doors under Kemp’s 39 guidelines which include: screening employees, no more than 10 people are allowed in per 500 square feet, employees must wear masks and other PPE.

“It’s a lot of common sense stuff like hand sanitizer, washing hands, cleaning down everything, mask, and gloves. Things we should be doing anyhow,” Sadler said.

In a news release from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, deputies will continue to enforce Kemp’s orders. It states it’s impossible for deputies to monitor every business that is allowed to reopen. However, Sheriff David Davis is asking businesses and customers to use good judgement when following health guidelines.

In event of complaints, deputies will provide notices and action, if needed.