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Customers are finally returning to indoor dining, says local restaurant owner

Posted at 11:00 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 12:01:17-04

BRYAN, TX — Since the CDC has stopped requiring fully vaccinated people to wear masks in most public settings, some businesses are taking matters into their own hands.

Some restaurants across the nation have chosen to regulate masks within their business, according to who’s vaccinated since the CDC lifted their mask requirement. But businesses here in the Lone Star State are doing things a little differently.

The latest update from the CDC on what you can and can’t do when you have been fully vaccinated was just released two weeks ago.

According to the CDC, a fully vaccinated person is defined as two weeks after receiving your last dose. Those individuals can return to normal activities as they did before the pandemic.

“Definitely people have dropped their guards I guess got more comfortable lately so yeah, I've seen much fewer masks,” said Rami Cerone, Owner at Caffé Capri. “It seems like people are excited and getting back to what was normal before,”

Employees at Caffé Capri are still required to wear masks, but customers are free to feel comfortable and do what they believe is best for them.

”For the restaurant, our staff is still wearing masks but we’re not requiring anything and we haven't for the last month or two, so we let people do as they want but we’re going to wear them as the staff,” Cerone added.

Rami Cerone the owner of Caffé Capri hopes and foresees in the near future his employees will not be masked up for much longer but is still playing it by ear.

On the other hand, Chef Tai Lee has allowed his vaccinated employees and all other staff to make those decisions for themselves.

”At this point, we can just recommend it but it is again up to the people's choice. At the moment our staff are choosing to wear a mask and some of them are choosing not to do it because they already got vaccinated,” said Tai Lee, owner of four restaurants in Bryan-College Station.

Chef Lee is confident in the safety of his restaurant because of his air purification systems he invested in early on into the pandemic.

Both owners do say that business has been great ever since capacity restrictions were lifted by Governor Greg Abbott.

“Thank goodness ever since they opened it back up to 100% we’ve been busy, people are coming back and I think the whole thing is normal again, so normal is going out to eat and spending time at a restaurant with friends,” Cerone added.

"It didn’t kick start right away because some people decide to go back to their home and not come out, I think over the past two months people have gotten a little more flexible and also comfortable about more people getting vaccinated,” Lee shared.

They also both have the same take on vaccine cards. They don’t plan to check them or separate their customers according to who’s been vaccinated.

The latest numbers the CDC is tracking show at least 39 percent of people ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated in Brazos County.