Valley restaurants weigh in on new capacity restrictions

Local News

NORTH LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Under the three-week statewide pause, Gov. Steve Sisolak said capacity at bars and restaurants will lower to 25%, and only four patrons are allowed to a table.

Another aspect: curbside delivery is highly encouraged.

Don Tortaco in North Las Vegas is one of many restaurants concerned but onboard with the restrictions. It and others say they will do what they can to keep business open.

“We closed Ricardo’s during the pandemic on May 15,” said Carlos Gomez, catering director at C&C Kitchen. “We spoke to the owner, and we decided to open this place up. We opened Sept. 9.”

With only a little over two months in catering, Gomez says he’s hopeful cases will lower in the next three weeks. But he’s also worried.

“We are fairly new,” he said. “We are a small business; we’re struggling.”

Gomez is seeing very little traffic. When you combine that with recent COVID numbers, he is getting little sleep.

“Fortunately for us right now, because we are located inside the Rancho Discount Mall, and we are fairly new, we technically are going to lose one more table,” he explained.

Rodrigo Ibarra runs operations for Don Tortaco. In March, they got a loan to stay afloat.

“Worried not so much, struggling a little bit. We have to kind of go out of our way to see what the new guidelines apply to us,” he shared. “We’re having to shift around tables.”

Ibarra says the majority of customers dine in for lunch, so reduction in capacity will hurt them. Both Gomez and Ibarra need to cut staff hours and depend on Grubhub, Postmates and DoorDash.

“I wouldn’t say we’re okay with it, but kind of like, rules are rules. We do kinda question their decision on how they want to do all these things,” said Ibarra.

Regardless, they are leaning on the community.

“Support your local business,” Ibarra urged. “Aside from helping the business, you’re also helping to keep it open. And when it’s opened, they can keep their employees employed.”

8 News Now reached out to the Nevada Restaurant Association about the reduction in capacity. They sent us the following statement:

The Nevada Restaurant Association, along with 5,900 restaurants and food service outlets employing more than 219,000 Nevadans across our state, acknowledge that we all have to work together to do our part to help end this pandemic.

The safety of our employees and customers continues to be a top priority for our restaurant operators.

However this new capacity limitation is devastating to our industry. At 25% dine in capacity, there will be little to no profit, which will make it more difficult for operators to pay their bills and keep staff employed.

According to our numbers in April 2020, 15% of Nevada’s restaurants closed permanently due to COVID-19 related restrictions. We now project that 30% of restaurants will close by the year’s end with the current capacity restrictions and the lack of federal aid. Some restaurants are able to adjust their business model and make the shift to delivery and take out, however many restaurants will financially suffer from their inability to adjust their menus or offer outside dining.

Our Nevada restaurants need help now more than ever to survive.

We are grateful to not be completely shut down and that we still have limited indoor dining. We implore Congress to pass an additional round of federal funding and for Nevadans to take advantage of the great take home menus, holiday offers, and gift cards offered by our operators.

Nevada Restaurant Association

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

8 news now breaking and daily news sign up

CONTESTS

Pro Football Challenge

Don't Miss

Trending Stories