PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The COVID-19 crisis has had a big impact on restaurants across Arizona.

Switch Restaurant in central Phoenix was forced to close up back in July.

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"With the cutbacks and public not coming out, it just made it financially unaffordable to continue to operate," said Switch chef Jason Peterson. "From products to payroll to taxes, including insurance and utilities. It just wasn't going to work for us."

Jason Peterson

"With the cutbacks and public not coming out, it just made it financially unaffordable to continue to operate," said Switch chef .

The Phoenix chef said the past six months have been extremely challenging for restaurants, who were shut down then allowed to invite customers back with limited seating capacity. Switch is planning to reopen this Friday, but other establishments will never come back.

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So far, more than 40 bars and restaurants across the Valley have closed down during the current health crisis.

Restaurants

Restaurants may soon be allowed to expand on their maximum 50% dine-in capacity.

Steve Chucri is president of the Arizona Restaurant Association. He said that many restaurants are finding ways to adapt by expanding their take-out and delivery business despite the number of closings. There's also the possibility Gov. Doug Ducey and local municipalities will soon allow 

Steve Chucri

"I think we're going to use that space very wisely and exercise our ability to keep our patrons safe," said Steve Chucri.

"We're not necessarily suggesting that we're going to crowd dining rooms again," said Chucri. "I think we're going to use that space very wisely and exercise our ability to keep our patrons safe, but maybe bump up that occupancy the best we can, and safest way of course."

Jason Barry is best known for his Dirty Dining Report which airs Fridays at 6:30 p.m. on CBS 5.  He is also the storyteller behind CBS 5's Pay It Forward which airs every Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
 
 

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