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Danny Meyer's restaurant group will now require proof of vaccination for indoor dining as Delta variant cases increase. The restauranteur announced the decision on a recent edition of CNBC's Squawk Box.
Danny Meyer is known for founding Shake Shack and leading the Union Square Hospitality Group. USHG owns spots like Gramercy Tavern, Blue Smoke, and Union Square Cafe, all of which are located in New York City. At current moment, the vaccine requirement does not include Shake Shack locations.
With the rising number of Delta variant COVID-19 cases in the NYC area, Danny explained the decision was the best option for diners and employees alike: "I'm not a scientist, but I know how to read data and what I see is that this is a crisis of people who have not been vaccinated, and I feel strong responsibility, on our part as business leaders, to take care of our team and our guests, and that's what we're doing," he said on the show.
Union Square Hospitality Group is one of the first major restaurant companies to set a vaccine requirement. Employees will have 45 days to decide if they will get vaccinated and are offered eight hours of pay to go get their shot. Danny went on to say his decision will hopefully entice more diners to go to his restaurants because of the safety standard.
"I think that the vast majority of people that dine out, especially indoors, don't want to see us go back to how things were where we had either no opportunity to serve people indoors, or last September for the first time, we could serve 25 percent capacity," he said. "That is so yesterday. We know right now that the vaccine works and it's time to make sure this economy moves forward. There's just no going back."
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