William C. Wadsack
Write On Creative Writing Center's Meghan Logan, right, works with Elle Norris on Thursday. (Courtesy Write On Creative Writing Center)
Several Frisco business owners said they are excited to be able to increase customer capacity to 50% following guidance from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
In a June 3 news release, Abbott said Phase 3 of his Open Texas plan went into effect immediately. Under the new guidance, Abbott said nearly all businesses are able to operate at up to 50% capacity.
Kim Dickson, owner of Sunny Paige Frisco Boutique, said she has seen many of her regular customers under the 25% capacity previously allowed by the state. Dickson said she was excited to add more capacity in the store and expects business will increase.
“People are ready for normalcy,” she said. “They're ready for the world to be back to normal.”
Write On Creative Writing Center founder Dawn Rice said her business never quite got to normal, as it only opened March 3.
“We're still trying to get the word out that we even exist,” Rice said.
She said business has been limited, but customer traffic has been growing recently. Being allowed to open at 50% is “good news,” she said.
“We’ve become very creative in coming up with ways to make it work for everybody instead of just having it be one size fits all,” Rice said. “It's been challenging but also exciting at the same time.”
As part of that effort to meet the needs of its customers, the writing center has various summer camps planned for the next two months that will be offered in-person and through video calls.
At Reform & Ride Pilates and cycling studio, owner Beverly Seitzinger said she believes businesses being allowed to operate at 50% capacity will allow more people the opportunity to get back out into the community.
“There are some people that are reluctant to just go out really anywhere, unless it's absolutely necessary,” Seitzinger said. “I think that the more that they're given permission to go to places, more and more people will feel comfortable coming in.”
At 25% capacity, Seitzinger said Reform & Ride has been doing well, as it normally keeps its classes small.
“It hasn’t been too much of a problem,” she said. “We just try to manage the flow of people coming in and out. All of our classes and everything is scheduled so we can manage that by how we schedule everything.”
After Abbott announced businesses could allow 50% capacity in stores, book store chain Barnes & Noble announced June 4 it had reopened all of its stores, including its location at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco. Phase 3 of Abbott’s Open Texas plan also allows restaurants to increase their capacity to 75% beginning June 12.
Hurts Donut General Manager Nikki Selby said she was looking forward to being able to allow more customers into the restaurant.
“Working limited capacity hasn't been a huge issue [for Hurts Donut],” Selby said. “A couple of times we've had to let people know that they'll just have to wait a little bit longer for them to be able to come in and eat. And people have been totally fine with it.”
Since reopening its dining room, Selby said Hurts Donut has seen a “big spike in business.”
“People are more comfortable starting to leave the house,” Selby said about the increase in customers. “People are kind of missing some of the things that they didn't have while they were in quarantine—maybe like their favorite donuts.”
She said the business has also benefited from its various no-contact delivery options, including the recently launched delivery robots from Starship Technologies.
“They've been a huge, huge boon for the business,” Selby said. “People love the no-contact concept of having the donut just brought from our hands to their hands. And it's also something really fun for the kids to see and for the parents to do.”