DETROIT – “All restaurants are opening at 100 percent capacity today, but not all restaurants are ready,” said Ali Saad, Starter’s Bar and Grill owner.
Saad owns Starter’s Bar and Grill restaurants in several cities and welcomed the news that mask mandates and capacity restrictions were lifted Tuesday across the state.
”I want to put this in the rearview mirror and drive 100 miles in the opposite direction,” said Saad.
Shante Rice owns a food truck and several other small businesses employing about 25 people.
She supports the governor’s budget which includes expanding eligibility for child care subsidies and financial incentives for people returning to work.
“Any help would be phenomenal so we can hire more people,” said Rice, owner of Tiffany’s Delicious Dogs.
Whitmer also wants to offer $20,000 grants for struggling small business owners so they can hire more people.
“This will help small businesses and encourage others to become entrepreneurs,” said Rice.
Staffing is a major concern for Saad who doubts most restaurants are prepared to go back to full capacity yet.
“We’re telling our customers to be patient,” said Saad.
But overall he’s looking forward to summer sales and a new normal.
“I told my dad, we’re gonna look back one day and be like ‘how did we do this for 18 months?’ Hopefully we’ll laugh about it,” he said.