July 8, 2020

(Frisco, Texas) Today, State Representative Jared Patterson announced his support for Texas restaurants and agrees that the definition of “restaurant”, as assigned by Executive Order No. GA-28, must be amended.

Executive Order No. GA-28 defines restaurants as businesses “that have less than 51 percent of their gross receipts from the sale of alcoholic beverages.” The 51 percent distinction is not consistent with the requirements for a food and beverage certificate, which was changed from 51 percent to 60 percent in 2017. Numerous restaurants across the state have adapted to continue operating safely amidst the COVID-19 regulations, but Executive Order No. GA-28 has resulted in an unnecessary number of closures – many of which, may be permanent if the current definition of restaurant is not amended.

In response to this order, The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA), in partnership with other key entities, created a task force that ultimately offered a three part solution. This proposed definition focuses on the utilization and permanency of an establishment’s kitchen, as well as seating arrangements that follow current social distancing protocol, to best differentiate a restaurant from a bar.

“In fighting the spread of this virus, it is imperative that we not only protect the health of all Texans, but their livelihoods also. GA-28 has affected many undeserving restaurants across the state, including the establishments that have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of their patrons and employees. I support the alternative definition that has been proposed by TRA and am hopeful that Governor Abbott will amend this language so that we can continue to get Texas back to work.”

Jared Patterson represents House District 106, which encompasses the eastern portion of Denton County. During the 86th Legislative Session, Patterson authored and passed initiatives in policy areas such as transportation, education, property taxes, as well as eliminated unnecessary and burdensome government regulations. Patterson serves on the House Committees on Business & Industry, Urban Affairs, and Resolutions Calendars. He also serves on the House Interim Study Committee on Aggregate Production Operations, and the Texas Cybersecurity Council. His family resides in Frisco.