Thursday, March 22, 2007

For businesses, it was business as usual

By TOMIE LUNSFORD
Telegram Staff Writer

Wednesday's water worries didn't dampen business efforts for local stores and restaurants.
For most, it was business as usual.
Only Wal-Mart reported an unusual morning because of the water line break. Management said the retail store sold out of bottled water by about 9 a.m., but the shelves weren't empty long.
A truck full of extra water was at the store before the last bottle was checked out, store representatives said. Another truckload of water had been ordered, they explained, to make sure the store would have enough water to meet the day's demands.
HEB management said they didn't have to order additional stock of water because of Wednesday's incident. But they did have several shoppers Wednesday afternoon who said they were in the market specifically to buy water.
'Yeah, I'm stocking up,' said Luke Shoemaker, a Temple resident who lives off of 31st Street near Brentwood. 'They're telling us not to use our water. So it's a preventative measure just in case things get worse.' For Temple Mall and all its eateries, General Manager Trish Lee said, 'it was business as usual.'
Ms. Lee said nobody at Temple Mall experienced any problems with water pressure.
'There wasn't any trouble,' Ms. Lee said. 'If the water did get turned off, we'd have to rope off our bathrooms and post signs on the water fountains saying they were out of order. As for the restaurants, they are geared for emergencies like that. They have back-up protocol procedures to follow.'
Neither the hair salon, the coffee shop, nor any of the fast-food restaurants experienced any difference in business hours. The people working the cash registers said the only difference in Wednesday's schedule was that they got a memo at about 9 a.m. from mall management warning of a possible decrease in water pressure.
They said none of their bosses called for a stop of service due to the potential water shortage.
Responses from employees at McDonald's, Taco Bell, Starbucks and Sonic were similar. They said they were aware of the city's call for water conservation but were not under orders to shut down.

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