SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. — As restaurants ease back into business under the 25 percent capacity rule, one Brevard beachside fire department is lending a hand with their expertise.

What You Need To Know

  • Satellite Beach helping restaurants get up to code

  • Their goal is to help get businesses back on their feet without hiccups.

  • Restaurants can currently operate at 25% capacity

It's back to work for some employees of Pappagallo's Pizza and Morning Glory in Satellite Beach.

The restaurant just celebrated 30 years in business in March, right as the coronavirus pandemic was hitting the country and world.

"Thirty years and never saw anything like this before," owner Dave Rich told Spectrum News 13.

Their dining area shuttered due to governor's orders took a toll on the 45 employees on staff.

"All 40 of our serve staff got laid off," Rich said.

Takeout and delivery became the norm. But now, the state is slowly getting back to work.

Per mandate, restaurants can operate at 25 percent capacity.

"We always try to guide them whether it's enforcing the code, or in this case, the new area of the 25 percent," says Chief David Abernathy of the Satellite Beach Fire Department.

The department normally makes sure their 15 city eateries are up to code.

Inspectors look at fire exits being clear, proper lighting, and occupancy.

This new goal is for the department to help the local restaurants get back to business with no hiccups.

"We are trying to show them and help them get to that point where they need to be, so they can still operate," Chief Abernathy said.

That’s exactly what owners like Rich wants, especially to bring his employees back on the job.

"(It) gives us a chance to get the staff who hasn't been here in 7-8 weeks reacquainted with what's going on," he said.

Florida's Department of Business and Professional Regulation, which issues business licenses, is responsible for enforcing the 25 percent capacity mandate.