Restaurant owners in New York and California continue to suffer under heavy restrictions as lawmakers issue increasingly draconian edicts during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
A report from Fox News highlights the plight of some restaurant owners, who spoke out about their fear of closing business for good.
“We’re in survival mode right now. We’re just trying to stay afloat right now, we really don’t know what to do, said Chef Rodney Worth, who owns the Peasant and Pear in California.
Worth appeared on Fox News Friday for an interview about how his business is coping with California’s new lockdown.
“We’ve done everything they’ve said to do, and you know, people have spent thousands of dollars on tents, we have outside dining, we have the best sanitizer, we have training,” Worth said. But even so, businesses are struggling to earn enough to keep running while the state prohibits indoor dining services.
“We’re like dying a death by a thousand cuts right now,” he added. On top of it all, Worth said no one among his business associates and fellow restauranteurs has reported anyone in their restaurants contracting COVID.
“We have not had one case of COVID in our restaurants with 55 employees and all the restaurants near us, we haven’t heard of any cases of COVID at all.”
His complaints have been echoed by other business owners fed up with the edicts of local lawmakers. In New York City, where the state has ordered restaurants to close their indoor dining rooms, a massive snowstorm has forced businesses to close their outdoor dining arrangements as well. The result is many of these restaurants aren’t serving customers or making money at all.
Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association, said Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus policies have dealt a “huge blow” to the industry.
“This action will inevitably result in massive layoffs and vast closures right before the holidays,” Fleischut said. She characterized the closures as “unfair and devastating.”
“It will be the last straw for countless more restaurants and jobs,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. “The restrictions begin on Monday with zero economic support for small businesses that are already struggling to survive.”
On top of it all, city officials have been unclear about what restaurants can and cannot do.
New York local officials on Thursday implemented a new rule preventing outdoor diners from permitting their customers to use indoor restrooms. The backlash from restaurant owners and their customers was so intense, officials were forced to reverse the policy. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday the bathroom rule was “a mistake.”