LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — May 11 marked the day Jeffrey Williams could finally unlock his doors.
Restaurants across Arkansas got the option Monday to re-open for dine-in, but only partially and with some limits in place.
"Furloughing the staff and turning the lights off on this building was one of the hardest things I've done in the past four years," he said.
Williams restaurant, Soul Fish Café, has been in the dark since March 20.
"We sent our employees home, we closed it down and it was the right thing to do at the time," he said.
After seven weeks without business, Gov. Hutchinson's guidelines laid out, and days of prepping, Williams knew his restaurant was ready.
"We are definitely doing our part on the other side of the wall to make sure whenever you come in here, we are safe and responsible to serve you," he said.
According to Williams, doing their part includes space for social distancing, masks worn by all, and available hand sanitizer.
Customer Taylor Jacks said those changes make him feel more comfortable while eating out.
"I want to make sure I know that wherever I go is going to be clean and follow the guidelines that are expected," he said.
Food blogger Kevin Shalin asked Arkansans if they plan to dine-in. With over 500 comments, most people said they'll stick to takeout.
Owner of Tacos 4 Life, Austin Samuelson, said he saw more customers doing just that during the lunch hour at his North Little Rock location.
"Most of our guests are still choosing to use the drive-thru and a lot of online orders, so most of it is still to go," he said.
The state-wide restaurant is implementing the guidelines and more, according to Samuelson.
Including hand sanitizer wipes that are available for guests, only the wall menu is being used and one employee is dedicated to wiping down the lobby area.
"Really just trying to eliminate any points where there could be multiple touches from different folks," he said.
Both owners are ensuring the comfort of the customers is their number one priority.
"We want them to be able to come here and feel safe," Samuelson said.