A recent study suggests dining out could be linked to a higher risk of contracting COVID-19, but Chattanooga restaurant owners and industry representatives say the research is flawed and unfairly targets struggling businesses.
The report is an example of “the bullseye they have put on the back of small restaurants,” said Wes Agee, co-owner of Charlie’s Quick Stop Barbecue and Bakery on Main Street.
“We might see 1,000 to 1,500 people in a fantastic week, but WalMart sees that many in an hour or two every day,” he said. “The big-box places, none of those guys are being picked on.”
(Read more: Coronavirus bringing lasting change to Chattanooga area restaurants as they fight to stay open amid increase in takeout, delivery options.)
Findings from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Vanderbilt University Medical Center study show adults with COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to report