Some restaurant owners say Gov. Cuomo's vaccine recommendation will deter profit, hurt businesses

Gov. Cuomo is asking business owners to only allow vaccinated patrons into their establishment as the COVID-19 positivity increase to 2.4%.

News 12 Staff

Jul 29, 2021, 11:43 AM

Updated 993 days ago

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Restaurant owners and workers are responding to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s new steps to try to reduce the spread of the delta variant.
Cuomo is asking business owners to only allow vaccinated patrons into their establishment as the COVID-19 positivity rate increases to 2.4%.
Some Long Island restaurant owners say this will prohibit them from making any type of profit.
Ronald DiGangi, owner of the restaurant Calogero's in Garden City, says requiring proof of vaccination from patrons and staff is easier said than done.
"Some people want to keep their information private, and it would just make us doing our jobs a lot more difficult to stop and check who's vaccinated and who's not," DiGangi says.
DiGangi says his restaurant is trying to recover after months of COVID-19 capacity limits. DiGangi is concerned another restriction would make it more difficult to turn a profit.
"It would definitely hurt our bottom line. We can't afford to turn any customers away," DiGangi says.
Meanwhile, other business owners say they will require employees and customers to be vaccinated.
"If you really want to go unvaccinated, you can dine somewhere else and you can also go work somewhere else," says Union Square Hospitality Group CEO Danny Meyer.
The owner of high-profile restaurants in New York City and Washington, D.C. says his new policy requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 at his full-service restaurants is a matter of safety.
"I don't want to go backwards. We have an answer called the vaccination," Meyer says. He adds that the new policy will take effect Sept. 7.
Meyer, who founded Shake Shack and serves as chairman of the company's board, said his new policy does not extend to the burger chain for now.
Long Islanders News 12 spoke with have mixed feelings about possibly being required to show proof of vaccination before dining in.
"I wouldn't mind. I'm vaccinated so, it makes more sense. Why not? You get in quicker," says Sal Gambino, of New Hyde Park.
"I don't agree with that. I think it's OK to wear the mask but to show the vaccination card, I don't think so. I think that's more private," says Elsa Aguayoof, of New Hyde Park.


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