New York City’s vaccination requirement presents new challenges for restaurants

As of Monday, New York City will be the first major U.S. city to impose vaccination requirements for indoor dining, leaving many new challenges for restaurant owners in five districts.

Driven by the proliferation of new cases of Covid-19 associated with delta variants, the city has proven that there is at least one vaccination for many indoor activities, including diet, fitness clubs and participation in indoor shows in New York. Request. The first major American city to impose such restrictions. Employees at these sites should also be vaccinated. A few weeks before the transition, execution will begin on September 13.

The policy is gaining momentum. New York-led San Francisco on Thursday implemented its own immunization requirements for indoor activities, which go into effect on August 20. The California City obligation is slightly different from the New York obligation in that it requires a full vaccination certificate, but the employer verifies the worker’s status for two months. Los Angeles is considering a similar plan.

Booking Holdings’ OpenTable has expanded the ability of restaurants to display Covid vaccination requirements to their customers as the vaccination obligations of the community and the restaurants themselves increase. The reservation service will also publish a national list of restaurants requiring a vaccination certificate.

Inevitably, the New York Mission has a learning curve. However, the restaurant is still waiting for more detailed guidelines from city authorities, such as how much information to collect and record from customers.

Art Depole, co-owner of Fries’ Mooyah Burgers, said: Franchising with brother Nick in Midtown, Manhattan.

Brian Niccol, CEO of Chipotle Mexican Grill, told the Washington Post on Wednesday that the city will understand how the vaccination requirements apply to people who are not vaccinated for medical or religious reasons. He said he needed it. Otherwise, they will be excluded from the labor market.

The workforce is an ongoing challenge for the industry and it requires all the workers it can get. Restaurants are looking to raise wages and offer retention bonuses to attract new workers, but restaurant unemployment was still 8.4% nationwide in July, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

DePaul said more than half of his Mooya employees were vaccinated. But he sees the reaction of the voices of a handful of his unvaccinated workers threatening to stop the vaccination with regard to their period of employment. Compliance with the obligation also puts a strain on its staff who would have to deal with non-compliant clients.

In addition, checking for proof of vaccination may mean scheduling additional workers just to stay at the door throughout the shift, which adds to increased labor costs in restaurants. .. Chipotle is still thinking about how to verify proof of vaccination.

“Obviously, if you want to make it really doable, you’ll need some consideration,” Nicole said.

Tourists present another difficulty in the execution of warrants. Depole’s Mooyah Restaurant is located between two attractions, Times Square and Herald Square, and requires orders from those customers.

“A lot of locals seem to understand that on board, but tourists and outsiders are saying, ‘Oh, this is the last time you see me in town. Said De Paul. “It’s a matter of polarization.

Additionally, while the number of foreign tourists is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2025, some are heading to New York. For those coming from outside the United States, some may have difficulty accepting proof of vaccination.

For example, Stacey Widlitz, retail consultant and founder of SW Retail Advisors, was vaccinated with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK. While the World Health Organization approved the vaccine, Widlitz struggled to convince some New York businesses to accept the vaccination certificate (the QR code generated by the National Health Service’s mobile app).

“I am not a tourist, but I have vaccinated in London. They don’t know what to do with foreign barcodes with unrecognized applications, ”Widlitz said. “They give you a blank stare. “

So far, Jim from the Upper East Side has told Widlitz that he will only accept Moderna, Pfizer, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines if he wants to exercise without a mask. Employees at some independent restaurants told him they couldn’t eat inside once the delegation began because there was no way to confirm any vaccinations taken outside of the United States.

However, restaurateurs will also see some benefits from their vaccine obligations, in addition to stopping the flow of new cases of Covid. On the one hand, it can limit the number of workers calling for the disease because they have tested positive or have come into contact with someone. For example, Nicole told the Washington Post that the burrito chain is lacking in changes due to delta variants, but the burrito chain has a company-wide vaccine obligation until the vaccine is definitively released. approved by regulators. Not implemented.

Money orders may also cause some consumers who are reluctant to return to a restaurant and eat inside again. Bernardin chef Eric Ripert told CNBC’s Worldwide Exchange on Thursday that his restaurant’s existing vaccination policy made customers feel safe rather than alienated. ..

“It’s a huge difference between what we see on social media and the reality of what’s going on in business,” he said.

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