Sunday, October 24, 2021

Fast-food chains close some indoor seats as city tests vaccine

NEW YORK—New York, San Francisco, and some other cities and counties require restaurants to check for proof of COVID-19 vaccination for eating indoors, some fast-food chains simply filling their seating area. shutting down—a move that could dent their sales.

Burger chain White Castle closed seating sections in more than 20 New York City locations in September after New York City asked customers over the age of 12 to prove they were less likely to eat indoors. At least one vaccine has been received.

By eliminating dine-in options, restaurants are forced to rely entirely on carry-out, drive-thru and delivery orders – which are generally more profitable. It also means they can eliminate the costly labor required to clean seating areas and check customers’ proof of vaccinations, and perhaps ask an additional employee to work in the kitchen or counter. .

For example, Jeff Carper, chief operating officer at White Castle, said the chain was able to “re-deploy some of the labor to focus on drive-thru, delivery and pick-up”.

Taco Bell, a unit of Yum Brands Inc., said it encouraged customers to place digital orders for pickup and delivery, and added that “our restaurants follow federal, state and local regulations to keep our team members and customers safe.” and follow the guidelines.” The two Taco Bell locations that Reuters visited had closed their indoor seating.

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At McDonald’s Corp, franchisees consider several factors when making a decision to close indoor seating, including COVID-19 case counts, local regulations and staffing levels, the company said. On September 16, 8 McDonald’s locations in New York City were visited by Reuters, with 3 closing their indoor seating.

“We continue to monitor the Delta variant closely and, as we have done over the past 18 months, we have been able to adapt quickly while maintaining our safety standards,” the company said.

Overall, consumer spending at restaurants rose 9 percent to $440 billion from last year’s mid-pandemic low, according to data from NPD Group/Crest, which ended in August.

But the first order to check proof of vaccination went into effect in New York City on August 17, and the city began enforcing the requirements on September 13.

New York City inspectors visited 18,182 establishments as of Thursday, giving 2,211 warnings and 6 violations of $1,000 for failing to check vaccination cards.

King County, Washington, home of Seattle, will require restaurants to check for proof of full vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test starting October 25. San Francisco began offering indoor diners to show evidence that they had been fully vaccinated on August 20. .

by Hilary Russ

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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