DENVER (CBS4)– On Sunday, May 16, several Denver subway districts are moving to Level Clear. That means relaxed regulations for restaurants and bars.
“We are very excited. We look forward to things getting back to normal as soon as possible, ”says Jacqueline Granados, owner of Las Margs in Commerce City.
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She is happy and welcomes the change, but is also a little worried: “I don’t feel like you know it will be the same.”
Aside from trying to keep everyone healthy, many restaurants like Las Margs are also understaffed.
“Unfortunately, personnel is still a bit of a problem … I think industry-wide,” said Granados.
According to the Colorado Restaurant Association, the vacation days and layoffs caused by the pandemic have caused some workers to quit the industry or even the state altogether. It has also led some to stay home and cope with unemployment until they feel safe going back to work.
Josh Wolkon saw this firsthand. He owns Stueben’s in Arvada and Denver and Ace Eat and Serve in Denver. He says it was difficult for him to find help.
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“Before the pandemic, it was difficult to hire people, but it was never like this,” Josh said. “The benefits of working in a restaurant have never been higher, the pay has never been higher, and yet we can’t find people.”
He offers health insurance and $ 20 or more per hour for all positions, but still struggles to hire. Even so, he says, although they may be understaffed, they will happily serve those who come to dine with them. You may need to be a little more patient.
“We really want people to come back and enjoy their first meal and make sure it’s great, and right now we just don’t have enough work to do that,” said Josh.
Another thing to note is that there is still a nationwide mask mandate in place. So you have to wear one inside unless you are eating and drinking. These restaurant owners ask you not to harass their staff for enforcing the rules.
With Level Clear, companies can operate at 100% capacity with no downsizing requirements other than the government mandate for inner masks.
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Jefferson, Broomfield, Boulder, Adams and Arapahoe counties announced plans to move to Level Clear on Sunday, according to state health officials. In April, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment lifted the COVID-19 framework to allow individual health departments to implement their own restrictions.