- Danny Meyer, founder and CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, said many of his famed restaurants will likely remain shut until a coronavirus vaccine is available.
- Meanwhile USHG, owner of New York City's Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe, will start offering takeout services at two of its counter-service restaurants.
- "There is no interest or excitement on my part to having a half-full dining room while everyone is getting their temperature taken and wearing masks, for not much money," he said.
- Medical experts expect the earliest a vaccine will be widely available is next January.
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Danny Meyer, head of Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns New York City hotspots Union Square Cafe and Gramercy Tavern, has said that some of his restaurants probably won't open until there's a coronavirus vaccine.
Most experts indicate that the earliest a vaccine would be widely available is January 2021.
Meyer didn't specify which of USHG's 18 New York City restaurants would keep its doors closed, but told Bloomberg that full-service restaurants like the Union Square Cafe would be difficult to make profitable in a restaurant at half capacity or less.
"There is no interest or excitement on my part to having a half-full dining room while everyone is getting their temperature taken and wearing masks, for not much money," he said.
USHG operates Gramercy Tavern, Cafes at Moma, and Union Square Cafe — Meyer's first restaurant, which he founded in 1985 at age 27. Meyer went on to found Shake Shack, which is not currently owned by USHG.
Already, USHG has laid off 80% of its staff as revenue has nosedived on account of the coronavirus pandemic, as reported by Business Insider's Taylor Borden. The cuts and prolonged shuttering signal a significant weight on the restaurant industry that's not going away soon; The New York Times reported that US restaurants could suffer a $225 billion loss in the next three months alone.
Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines suggest reopening with strict social distancing measures, depending on recommendations from local authorities. And prominent NYC restaurateurs have expressed concerns on restricted openings to Mayor Bill de Blasio, which currently bar nonessential businesses from opening through June. New York guidelines set last week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo document seven requirements for reopening: a 14-day decline in deaths, a drop in hospitalizations, and sufficient testing and tracing.
NOW READ: Danny Meyer's restaurant group, which owns beloved NYC staples like Gramercy Tavern, just laid off 80% of its workforce — and it shows how badly the pandemic has brought the service industry to its knees