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With empty patios and struggling staff, weeks of extreme heat are hurting DFW restaurants

“It’s killing us right now,” said The Tipsy Oak manager Michelle Schexnayder. The restaurant's popular outdoor seating area was empty on Sunday afternoon.

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — It was another sweltering hot weekend in North Texas.  

At The Tipsy Oak restaurant along Front Street in Arlington, the heat has been unbearable for its servers and customers, manager Michelle Schexnayder told WFAA.

“It’s killing us right now,” Schexnayder said. “It’s rough.”  

Schexnayder said the restaurant relies on its large, vibrant outdoor seating area for business. Live music entertains guests and customers are drawn to its outdoor brunch. 

That wasn’t the case on Sunday. The outdoor area sat barren and customers crowded the inside of the restaurant to stay cool. 

“We’re getting so jammed up inside cause people can’t take the heat,” Schexnayder said.  

Weeks of sweltering summer heat is hurting the small restaurant’s bottom line. Much of its seating is outside. The heat limits the amount of customers they can serve at a time.

Schexnayder said many of the restaurant’s servers are scrambling to make ends meet.   

“You’re seating less people, less sections, it definitely is affecting their income,” Schexnayder said. “We’ve talked to some of them about if they need to find a second job.” 

According to WFAA meteorologist Jesse Hawila, as of Sunday, DFW has had 51 consecutive days without measurable rain, the seventh longest streak on record.

Sunday was the ninth consecutive 100-degree day and the 29th for the year so far, which is well above normal, Hawila said. Typically, an entire summer averages 20 100-degree days.  

At the Traders Village in Grand Prairie, the heat is ruining fresh produce. Benjamin Monter, a vendor, looked down at his fruits and vegetables. As the hours of the day went on, they rotted. 

“Most of those are not gonna be good anymore,” Monter said. “People come early, because they know it’s gonna be hot.” 

Despite the heat, Schexnayder said her staff is grateful for their loyal customers who have continued to walk through the doors and provide their support.  

“Without them, we would be having a much tougher time,” Schexnayder said. 

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