Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer has announced that his restaurants will remain closed to guests indefinitely due to the huge impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the food and drink sector.
On March 13th, Danny Meyer, one of the leading name of the food and drink sector, closed all 19 of the Union Square Hospitality concepts, including Gramercy Tavern and some of New York’s best-loved restaurants, such as Union Square Cafe, due to health and safety concerns raised by the coronavirus pandemic. “We won’t be welcoming guests into our full-service restaurants for a very long time-probably not until there’s a vaccine,” he told Bloomberg. “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.” Meyer, who is known for his entrepreneurial ideas, is encouraging his chefs and managers to do the same by starting to think about other areas of the industry. Already, there are plans afoot to start shipping a signature dish from each restaurant across the country via gourmet delivery service Goldbelly. Daily Provisions is pivoting into breakfast curbside pick up, and Martain the Flatiron District is pivoting to pizza take-out. Meanwhile,Mike Anthony, the chef at Gramercy Tavern, is thinking about doing a farmers market meal kit. In a world where restaurants can only operate by 50% to comply with social distancing measures, Meyer says: “I would think about anything that is safe and profitable. If it’s not safe, we won’t do it, we all lose. Profitable matters, as well. The only way we can responsibly get back in the business of employing people is to not go out of business. It’s already incredibly hard to survive.”