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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Some Shelby County restaurants feel more prepared this time around amid added restrictions

Restaurants are adapting to new restrictions a day after the health department announced more

COLLIERVILLE, Tenn — Under the latest guidelines from the Shelby County Health Department for restaurants and bars, businesses are quickly adapting.

Tyler Smith, the general manager of Highlander Restaurant and Pub in Collierville, said he feels more ready for the added restrictions. 

"I feel like after the first go-around we’re definitely more prepared and you know that’s one of those things that you have to roll with the punches," Smith said.

Among the new guidelines is restaurants and bars must close by 10 pm, the maximum capacity is 50%, groups must be fewer than six people, and everyone must always wear a mask unless they are taking a bite or drinking. 

Smith said, no matter what, safety for everyone is always the priority. 

"You have to keep the safety of your employees and your patrons in mind," Smith said. 

He said the restrictions so far have not been detrimental to business, but it would help if they could have more tables of people. With the added mask guideline, Smith said being transparent with customers is the best way they can go about it. 

"The easiest way to fight that battle is to put the signage up in the restaurant itself letting your patrons know on the front end that this is what the health department has put in place and this is what we’re following," Smith said.

Smith said their patio seating has helped by adding more revenue. The restaurant has worked to adapt their outdoor seating for the changes in weather. 

"For patrons, they feel more comfortable with everything going on being in an outdoor setting," Smith said. "So, we’ve seen our patio sales almost triple from what they were in the past." 

He added what is most important for restaurants and bars right is to be as creative as possible with adapting. 

"If you have that ability that’s just an extra revenue stream, an extra way for people to feel comfortable, and utilize that way," Smith said.