ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – One week has passed since Sharon Riley’s Lytle Land & Cattle Company reopened its doors, after being closed for four days due to COVID-19 and other staffing shortages. Since that closure, there are obvious changes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

As you step into the Abilene staple steakhouse restaurant, better known simply as “Lytle,” you may notice a few things are different. Servers and bartenders are wearing masks, as well as serving guests with sterile black gloves.

These are just a few of the protocols put in place by Lytle, to prevent them from having to close again anytime soon.

“We don’t want to spread anything, and make sure it’s not COVID at first, and then people were getting tested,” said Bartender/Server, Adrianna Mott.

KTAB/KRBC: Bartender/Server, Adrianna Mott wears gloves and mask while pouring beer, Jan. 2022

Mott started working at Lytle last may. While she still feels very new to the restaurant, she has already gone through two closures caused by staffing issues, and said serving becomes even more fast-paced and stressful with fewer hands.

On a normal given day, there are eight servers on the restaurant’s floor. Due to shortages, however, Mott explained that four servers on-hand is more common during this pandemic. She said that she’s been one of the four on the floor for a night shift.

“The most I had over here was a full bar top, and four or five tables all at once,” Mott clarified.

After the restaurant’s most recent closure, management says it’s taking those preventative measures to be sure they will not have to close at all.

Server Jax Roam said the restaurant is really emphasizing a hesitancy to work through a small cold or other minor illnesses. He explained that it is taking every symptom as a potential COVID-19 case, because of the similarities in the the developing variants of the virus.

“It clicks,” Roam added. “Wash your hands after this, use gloves, change out your gloves every five minutes, or something like that.”

Roam remarked that these protocols have become second nature to him, even after just one week since reopening, and they will have to get creative to keep the restaurant open.

“We’ll find a way to stay open, whether it’s strictly deliveries or serving only outside. We’ll find a way to make money and serve our people,” Roam assured.

Lytle Land & Cattle reported that it paid all of their employees while they were closed.

Click here to learn more about Lytle Land & Cattle.