Restaurants across the province are preparing to once again shut their doors for dine-in services.

It's the third time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic that the provincial government has told restaurants and bars they can't allow customers inside their businesses.

Jag Thind is the owner of Mehtab East Indian Cuisine here in Cochrane and he says that yesterday's announcement didn't come as a surprise.

"We were kind of expecting it," says Thind. "How the numbers have been, especially with the variant numbers. We've seen it since last year, the first thing to close are these kinds of places."

Although yesterday's announcement wasn't shocking, Thind says it doesn't make the news easier to process for the business owners or their staff members.

"It's back to zero and start again," says Thind. "It's hard to mentally prepare for all the staff. How long will they work for? How long will their hours be?"

Effective this Friday, indoor dining will be put on pause again at all Alberta restaurants. Take-out, delivery and curbside pick-up are still permitted, and Premier Jason Kenny said that restaurants can host up to six people from the same household at a patio table.

Thind says that having a couple of days to prepare for the changes, won't largely impact his business.

"Unfortunately we can't really do anything," says Thind. "It's just a mental game. For people like us who don't have a patio, we can just mentally prepare our staff members. Okay, this is happening again... sorry, but we have to deal with it."

The service, hospitality, recreation and wellness industries have taken the brunt of the yo-yo effects imposed by the pandemic.

Despite the challenges this past year has presented for his own business, Thind has continued to give back to struggling Cochranites. He says that Cochrane is his family, and when your family needs help, you help them!

Mehtab will continue to operate for take-out, delivery and curbside pick-up from Sunday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturdays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.