No mask, no service: Arizona restaurant group to require its customers to wear masks

Restaurants across the country are struggling to survive these days, as they try to stay open while keeping COVID-19 at bay.

This week, a major restaurant group in the Valley made some changes and issued a message for customers, that they have a part to play in this as well.

LGO Hospitality is a group that owns, among other businesses, La Grande Orange, Buck & Rider, and Chelsea‘s Kitchen. This week, they have had to close Chelsea‘s Kitchen after a case of coronavirus was linked to the restaurant. While they are doing what they do what they can to keep customers safe, they hope customers are willing to return the favor.

Now, there is a new rule for patrons entering LGO: masks are required before entering. Employees, meanwhile, have been wearing masks for months. Some of the customers didn't seem to mind the new rule.

"We actually feel like we know a lot of the employees, and feel it’s a little disrespectful not to wear a mask," said customer Gretchen Bridge.

"Yes, I’d much rather wear a mask then be stuck sitting at home," said customer Nanette Kelly.

"If you control the spread, that helps not only our health situation but the economy as well, so the two go hand-in-hand," said customer Michael Bridge.

"This is a partnership. We, as businesses, are doing what we can to keep our guests safe, but we need to guest to take responsibility as well," said Deirdre James, Regional Sales Director for LGO Hospitality.

The new rule came at a time when coronavirus cases are climbing across Arizona.

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Shutting down a second time would be devastating to the restaurant and its employees, James said.

"The impact of being closed a second time, it’s going to hurt," said James. "It’s going to be harder for everyone to bounce back, especially our team members."

LGO is handing out up to 200 masks a day. The staff will police the new policy with friendly reminders. It's the price they pay to keep open, hoping customers will accept the tip.

FOX 10 did speak with a couple of customers who aren’t thrilled about wearing masks. They customers didn’t want to go on camera, but in the end, they did say they would rather wear a mask than shut down the economy.

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Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

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Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

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