Metro Atlanta restaurants close as COVID-19 cases among staff surge

More than a dozen metro Atlanta restaurants have shut down temporarily due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. 

The state has reported more than 10,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in a single day on Thursday.


The closures came during the busiest season for local restaurants. Ticonderoga Club is one of the restaurants that opted to close after positive COVID-19 cases among their staff.

"December was going to be our best month of the year. It was going to feel like, 'Hey we're going to have a normal looking month.'" said Paul Calvert, a partner at Ticonderoga Club.

The temporary closures have started rolling in on social media including 8ARM, Lazy Betty, El Myr, Miller Union, and Local Three. The restaurant 8ARM posted about the closure on Instagram saying that more than half of the 22 staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.

Calvert said the labor shortage is also impacting area restaurants forcing many to cut back on service and hours of operation.

"We do 25% to 30% less business than we are capable of because we don't have the staff. I could keep my kitchen open later if I had more cooks," explained Calvert.

Many restaurants like Ticonderoga Club have converted seating into grab-and-go holiday markets to sell merchandise, gift cards, and alcohol to make up for lost revenue. Others are asking for donations to help keep their staff afloat during the spike in cases.

Calvert told FOX 5 the struggle is even greater without financial assistance from the federal government through the Paycheck Protection Program. That program ended in May 2021.

"I think that Atlanta's restaurants will be closed for Christmas and New Year's this year which is horrible," said Calvert.

Restaurateurs suggest buying gift cards to support your favorite restaurant or ordering food to go. The Giving Kitchen also helps support food service workers who are in need.