With temperatures stuck at blistering levels in Texas, advocates for the state’s restaurants are urging residents to brave the heat for the sake of the local industry.
“While it’s too soon to confirm with data, anecdotal evidence suggests the heat wave is hurting restaurant sales at a time when many local businesses need revenue to offset rising costs,” the Texas Restaurant Association said in a statement issued to the media. “The TRA encourages Texans to continue to support their local restaurants that are following extreme heat safety protocols.”
The state has been stuck for nearly three weeks under what meteorologists call a heat dome, an atmospheric cap of hot air that made portions of Texas the hottest spots on earth during recent days. Officials say 13 people have died from a heat index—what temperatures actually feel like with humidity factored in—of up to 120 degrees.
The extreme weather has also triggered power outages as businesses and residents crank up their air conditioners and overtax the electrical grid.
The statement issued by the TRA spells out what restaurants can and are doing to keep employees and guests safe from dangerous heat. Those measures include:
- Having a plan ready if an air conditioner or refrigeration unit should falter.
- Altering hours of operation to shift more of the business day to cooler times.
- Adding misters, fans and water dispensers for staff and guests, particularly in outdoor serving areas.
- Pushing off-premise business, so customers can eat in the comfort of their air-conditioned homes.
“Texans are no stranger to extreme heat, but the current heat wave is already wreaking havoc for restaurants, their team members, and their sales,” Emily Knight, CEO of the TRA, said in the media alert. “Thankfully, resources exist to help local restaurants safely serve up a great experience during this heat wave. So, our message to Texans is whether you’re dining out or taking a meal home, now is the perfect time to find some relief with a cold beverage and a delicious meal from your local restaurant."
Texas boasts more restaurants than every other state except California.
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