Editor’s Note: The following is an open letter written by Kerr County Restaurant Owners Association members to Governor Greg Abbott.
To Governor Greg Abbott and Recovery Task Force Members:
As the Kerr County Independent Restaurant Owners Association, we are a representation of hundreds of years of small restaurant owners who have survived decades in the small community of Kerr County, Texas. The population of Kerr County is slightly over 52,000. To be capable of surviving decades in this area, as restaurant owners, we are required to have impeccable health and food service standards. Industry standards are a basic minimum in our businesses. Our community protection is not merely important when a virus is present. We value our ability to rise above industry averages and we take the utmost responsibility to provide safe, quality service to all of our customers.
The following recommendations are our guidelines for reopening Kerr County Restaurants and allowing small restaurant owners to continue to support their families and our community:
• Self regulation by customers, through information posted at business entry points matching the Texas Restaurant Association recommendations;
• Increased sanitation procedures such as checkout contact surfaces, writing utensils, menus and timed sanitation of common use surfaces such as door and sink handles, etc.;
• Reasonable spacing and seating capacity to allow businesses to survive and recover determined by owners;
• Consideration for relief from sales and property tax for small, privately owned and family businesses;
• Provide sanitation stations to diners;
• Allow restaurants to open expeditiously.
Restaurant owners must be capable of maintaining skilled and licensed/certified staff to prevent replacement and training hardships that will culminate in further loss of revenue.
As a collective, our businesses are out tens of millions of dollars, resulting in millions of lost tax revenue, lost alcohol sales tax, lost payroll tax, etc.
These lost revenues are astoundingly destructive to the overall financial stability of the Great State of Texas. Our concern is based from a diminished capability to support our families and the families of our employees. This concern is magnified by our inability to support our community’s needs. We are proven through decades of professional, safe service that we are, and will continue to be concerned with community safety, health and well-being. Allow us to reopen our businesses.
• Brenda and Buzzie Hughes, Buzzies BBQ, serving the Hill Country 28 years;
• LeighAnn Krueger & Debbie LaFour, LaFours Restaurant, serving Kerrville 37 years;
• Anke & Frank Leitner, Bald Eagle Food Truck, serving Kerr County 11 years;
• Mike & Cindy Piper, Hill Country Café, serving Kerrville 35 years;
• Classics Burgers, serving Kerrville 17 years;
• Jim & Lisa Lackey, Mike Blackledge, Toucan Jim’s, serving the Hill Country 11 years;
• Mary Martinez, Rita’s Tacos serving Kerrville 20 years;
• Scotty Schmerber, Lazy Dog Sports Bar & The Hungry Dog Roadside Eats, serving Kerrville 11 years;
• Michael Herrera, The Ritz Salon & Spa, serving Kerrville 24 years;
• Randy and Lisa Sanders, Save Inn Restaurant, serving Kerrville 30 years;
• John Dunn, The Hunt Store, serving Kerr County for 74 years;
• Bill & Laynetta Thomas, Taco Casa, serving Kerrville (2 locations) 25 years;
• Jose’ Perez, Los Dos Amigos, serving Kerr County 14 years;
• Rocky & Collette Hill, Brown’s Drive In, serving Kerrville 15 years;
• Tomasa O’Hern, Yeo Bo’s Café, serving Kerrville 9 years;
• Richard & Lorrie Ferris, Cowboy Steakhouse, serving Kerrville 42 years;
• Carina Boites Limon, El Bracero de Jalisco, serving Kerrville 6 years;
• Patrick & Keri Wilt, Grape Juice, serving Kerrville 12 years;
• Joe Marino, Bill’s Barbecue, serving Kerr County 40 years;
• Bryan Klare, Buddy’s, serving Kerr County 2 years;
• Tom & Shannon Freeman, Dickie’s Barbecue Pit, serving Kerrville 7 years;
• Wende Jones, Fresh & Fit, serving Kerr County 1 year;
• Juan Palacios, Hunter House Café, serving Kerr County 14 years;
• Stanley Damron & Juan Pace, Kickin Wings, Serving Kerr County 2 years.