Jan 3, 2022 - COVID

Austin restaurants shaken by COVID surge

A sign declares a table off limits for social distancing at an Austin restaurant.
A table not in use for social distancing at an Austin restaurant last March. Photo: Mary Kang/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Austin restaurants are trying to weather the Omicron surge.

Driving the news: More than a dozen Austin restaurants and bars shuttered for a day or more over the holidays after staffers were struck with COVID — or out of an abundance of caution amid the surge.

  • Among them: Franklin Barbecue, Komé, Sa-Ten, Ramen Tatsu-ya, Full Circle Bar, Island Fork, Drink.Well, Birdie’s, Hestia, Patrizi’s, Lenoir, Small Victory, Shangri-La and Bouldin Creek Cafe, per a report in Eater Austin.
  • "We are erring on the side of caution this holiday season," Sazan Ramen posted on Instagram ahead of a closure that lasted at least a week.

What they’re saying: “After struggling through nearly two years of the pandemic, restaurants are also deeply concerned about the economic impact of the Omicron variant,” Kelsey Erickson Streufert, spokesperson for the Texas Restaurant Association, told Axios.

By the numbers: In September, 91% of Texas operators said their restaurant experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor, on-premise dining due to the Delta variant.

What you can do: Texas consumers can help by dining at, or ordering take-out from, restaurants with the Texas Restaurant Promise — a pledge by restaurateurs to abide by best health practices.

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