4

Mark Cuban Is Investigating Dallas Businesses' Coronavirus Compliance

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is staying busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is staying busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons
^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

The Mavericks may be on indefinite hiatus, but Mark Cuban, the team's owner, is still finding interesting ways to make news during the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuban's still paying the Mavericks' hourly employees, even though the American Airlines Center's empty. He's been one of the leading voices on how the NBA might get players back on the court, and questioned whether Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to reopen Texas would work for businesses or the state's residents. While the NBA is allowing teams to return to practice slowly, Cuban said this week that he has no plans to open the Mavericks' practice gym.

Over the weekend, the first since Abbott's reopening orders went into effect, Cuban decided to use some of his considerable fortune to look into just how well local businesses were following the social distancing and cleaning routines that are supposed to come with getting back to business.

As detailed on his blog, Cuban hired an army of secret shoppers to call 1,000 businesses and see the extent to which they planned to reopen. Then Cuban's team went to 300 locations in Dallas to see how they were handling things.

Cuban's survey found that only 36% of Dallas' businesses elected to open back up as soon as they could. Businesses that did open, the secret shoppers found, were not following Abbott's reopening suggestions.

According to Cuban, 96% of Dallas' open businesses failed to completely meet the governor's protocols for reopening. Shoppers found that about a third of businesses were abiding by less than 50% of Abbott's guidelines for businesses.

On average, according to Cuban, businesses followed about 60% of mandatory protocols issued by the governor and 54% of his suggestions for reopening.

"Overall, there is a wide discrepancy amongst individual-level performance by location type," Cuban wrote on his blog. "We have the data ready for hundreds of locations and will have it for all ~800 visits across the rest of the month. I think trending the same-location compliance across multiple visits will be a critical addition to show improvement over time."

According to Cuban, compliance varies highly even among businesses owned by the same corporation.

"This is really interesting because a larger parent corporation would be highly concerned with variable degrees of compliance amongst their corporate-owned restaurants and would push for standardization and measurement, not dissimilar from regular mystery shopping and performance auditing workflows," he writes.

Compliance with Texas' coronavirus orders has become a heated, political issue. Thursday, two days after a Dallas County district judge sent a hair salon owner to jail for seven days after she ignored an order to shut her business down, Abbott decreed that no one would face jail time for failing to follow his orders.

Texas Republicans, led by Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Sen. Ted Cruz, made the salon owner, Shelley Luther, a cause célèbre among conservatives this week, calling out the judge who sentenced her, Eric Moye, and Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, a Democrat who had nothing to do with the civil case.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.