GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Wisconsin Restaurant Association estimates 50 percent of restaurants are at risk of going out of business under Gov. Tony Evers' latest emergency order.
The order limits indoor public gatherings to no more than 25 percent of a building's capacity, in an effort to combat the coronavirus pandemic. It goes into effect on Thursday and is slated to last through Nov. 6.
“Even before the order, 37 percent was indicating that they were going to go out of business," says Kristine Hillmer, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association.
Brent Prechtl, the owner of Nectar, a business in downtown Green Bay, worries what this means for his restaurant. Prechtl's business relies mostly on dine-out orders but others near him don't.
“You still have to have chefs," Prechtl says. "You still have to have the servers. You still have to have all that overhead incorporated with your business, but you’re only able to make 25 percent of the revenue that you’re going to typically be able to make. It’s going to affect them a lot.”
Prechtl says the best way to keep restaurants in business is order pick-up or dine out.
“If we don’t support each other and love each other, we really don’t have anything," he says. "So try a new restaurant. Love your neighbor. Let’s try to do the best thing moving forward and make the best of this bad situation.”