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Restaurants struggling with COVID-19 and the cold

Published: Oct. 16, 2020 at 10:32 PM CDT
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MOLINE, Ill. (KWQC) - When the weather gets even colder, local restaurants worry their business will take a hit. El Patron restaurant in Moline and V.I.P.'s in Rock Island say this is just another challenge they have to deal with.

Illinois restaurants are only allowed 40% capacity indoors during Phase 4. Plus, this sudden change in temperature resulted in a sudden change of customers.

“We don’t have as many customers as we were having so far. The new requirement of people wearing a face mask, it turned down more because people are still don’t believe it’s such a thing and don’t want to follow the requirements,” says El Patron employee Cristian Raya.

Lauri McNamee, owner of V.I.P.'s says the recent cold weather is getting rid of one of the biggest assets Moline restaurants had: “Outdoor seating was wonderful when they first did it and definitely helped our business and I’m sure, everyone downtown.” However, McNamee says the chilly temperatures resulted in a 75% drop in customers this week, on top of their already slow season due to COVID-19.

Even residents in downtown Moline have noticed a difference in customers over the week. Michael Kerres says, “I feel bad for business owners down here. I can tell the big hit they’ve taken. With people not able to go inside where they can’t be. Sitting outdoors it’s fine but it’s nothing like it used to be.”

Restaurant owners say they’re hoping to get their customers back and safely. McNamee emphasized they’re continuing to wear face masks, social distance, and sanitize frequently.

In Illinois, you’re still asked to wear a face mask when inside and interacting with staff.

The next step in Illinois' five-phase plan will likely come after a vaccine is widely available.

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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