Yakima business sees more customers after enforcing ‘No Mask, No Service’ policy

Courtesy: Essencia Artisan Bakery

YAKIMA, Wash. — While all businesses in Yakima County will be required on Friday to turn away customers who aren’t wearing a face mask, at least one local business has already put the “No Mask, No Service” rule into effect.

Essencia Artisan Bakery posted a notice on its door June 16 to let customers know that they needed to be wearing a face mask in order to come inside.

“Trying to keep this crew safe is probably my main concern,” owner Ryan Low said.

The business previously has asked customers to wear masks upon entrance, but not all of them did. Low said those customers who didn’t wear masks ended up making those who did feel uncomfortable.

Low said that’s why he decided to make it mandatory for anyone entering the business: to be consistent. He said while there was concern about how customers would react to the new rule, it turned out better than he expected.

“We were worried about chasing away our customers, but that was simply not the case,” Low said. “We actually had more customers coming in because we have a more solid mandate…We’ve seen an uptick in revenue.”

Low said most customers have expressed that they felt safer with everyone wearing masks, but a few have been opposed to it.

“There’s been some entitled people that think they don’t need a mask because they don’t take the sign seriously,” Low said. “Everybody else — including our staff and other customers — are quite happy that we’re enforcing the rule that we posted.”

If someone tries to enter the business without having a mask on, Low said the staff reacts quickly.

“We firmly and affirmatively ask them to either wait outside and call us on the phone or come back in with a mask,” Low said.

Low said if people don’t wear a mask, they can still get takeout: they just can’t come inside to order.

Meanwhile, the proclamation from the governor’s office regarding will go into effect Friday and applies to all businesses in Yakima County.

Under the proclamation, businesses must refuse to serve customers not wearing masks; if they don’t, the business could lose its license.

Additionally, failure to comply with the proclamation could result in criminal charges for the business owner, specifically, a gross misdemeanor.