Restaurants close dining rooms again as delta-driven infections spread

Eateries face uncertain demand, nervous diners and staffing struggles; some chains and franchisees remain split over indoor dining


Wall Street Journal

via FOXBusiness - Sep 13, 2021


Restaurants' plans to return diners to indoor tables are unraveling.


Chains such as McDonald's Corp. and Chick-fil-A Inc. are slowing their dining rooms' reopenings, given the Delta-driven surge in Covid-19 infections. Other restaurants are again losing customers, and trying to squeeze more diners into outdoor patios while weather still allows.


Laurie Torres, owner of Mallorca in downtown Cleveland, said sales at her Spanish-themed restaurant had risen earlier in the summer from pandemic lows but fell again last month as diners grew nervous. Mallorca brought back interior dividers and spaced out tables again to help customers feel comfortable inside, but Ms. Torres said she expects the fall to remain tough.


"The sand is shifting again," said Ms. Torres, who is closing early on weekends and shutting entirely on Mondays because of uncertain demand and staffing struggles...