Major Truck Stops Suspend Buffet, Soup and Salad Bars Amid COVID-19 Concerns

Westlake, OH – One of the country’s largest travel centers has announced they will “temporarily suspend” restaurant offerings beginning Monday due to COVID-19 (coronavirus) concerns.

In an email sent to customers on Sunday, TravelCenters of America (TA) — which also owns and operates Petro Stopping Centers — announced it will be suspending buffet, soup and salad bar offerings on a temporary basis.

The company stressed its restaurants will remain open and all menu items will be available for both dine-in and to-go orders.

 

TA operates over 240 full-service restaurants across the country, many of which are open 24 hours a day.

Most notably are Country Pride restaurants, located inside of TA locations, and Iron Skillet restaurants, located inside of Petro.

TA and Petro locations also operate well-known restaurant chains such as Black Bear Diner, Bob Evans, Boston Market, IHOP and Fuddruckers at certain locations.

However, as the situation in the country evolves, certain states are restricting restaurant dine-in operations which will affect all restaurants in those areas.

 

State

Rule

California Maximum occupancy rate must remain under 50 percent.
Colorado Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. Expires April 15.
Connecticut Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Florida Maximum occupancy rate must remain under 50 percent. All booths and tables must be at least six feet apart.
Illinois Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. People may not walk into the restaurant to pick up their orders.
Indiana Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. Expires March 31.
Iowa Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. Expires March 31.
Kentucky Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Louisiana Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Maryland Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Massachusetts Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. Expires April 6.
Michigan Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. Expires March 30.
Minnesota Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. People may go into the restaurant to pick up their orders as long as there are less than five people in the facility.
Missouri Johnson County, Kansas City and Wyandotte County only – Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed. Expires March 31.
Montana Yellowstone County and Missoula County only – Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
New Jersey Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed only between 5 a.m. – 8 p.m.
New Mexico Maximum occupancy and seating capacity rate must remain under 50 percent. All booths and tables must be at least six feet apart.
New York Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
North Carolina Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Ohio Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Oregon Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Pennsylvania Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Rhode Island Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
South Carolina Columbia only – Maximum occupancy rate must remain under 50 percent. All booths and tables must be at least six feet apart. No more than six people can be at a table.
Texas Harris County and Dallas County only – Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
Virginia Maximum occupancy rate must remain under 10 total people. To go is encouraged.
Washington Dine-in areas are closed. Drive-thru, to go and delivery is allowed.
WisconsinMaximum occupancy rate must remain under 50 percent or 50 total people. All booths and tables must be at least six feet apart.
*Chart last updated March 17 @ 3:20 p.m. CST.

TA stated its restaurants will increase the cleaning frequency of its tables, menus, chairs, booths, counters, as well as all dishes, utensils and cooking surfaces.

“We strongly believe this action is essential for your safety and the safety of all our team members,” the company said in a statement.

 

TA also emphasized it is “following the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) updates, guidelines and recommendations.”

The company said it has and will continue to implement all appropriate and necessary guidance from both the CDC and WHO.


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On Friday, March 13, TA issued its first public statement regarding the steps its locations plan to take in dealing with events surrounding the coronavirus situation.

“We are actively communicating with our teams, highlighting matters such as proper and thorough hygiene and hand washing practices, sanitation recommendations and food preparation procedures,” the company said in a statement.

 

Also on Friday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an unprecedented Emergency Declaration, suspending federal hours of service (HOS) regulations in all 50 states.

The HOS suspension by FMCSA is for commercial motor vehicle operators and motor carriers involved in providing “direct assistance” in the transportation of “relief “supplies.

Stay logged onto Transportation Nation Network for the latest in the coronavirus pandemic and how it directly affects the trucking industry.

 


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