While New York is entering Phase 2 of the opening, restaurateurs such as Jean-Georges Wengerichten are looking forward to a new normal regime after closing their doors for more than three months.
The city predicts that 5,000 restaurants will begin offering food outdoors as part of the second phase of the opening.
The restaurant industry has been particularly affected by the coronavirus. The mayor’s office said that at the end of March, expenses in New York restaurants fell by 90% compared to the same period last year. This decrease is more than 1 billion dollars. USA in the form of lost revenue.
Due to the fact that many restaurants face financial difficulties, Vongerichten and other restaurant owners are lobbying lawmakers to force insurers to cover claims for business disruption.
The insurance industry claims that policies generally exclude viral infections and require physical damage to property in the event of an insured event. Insurers argue that there is no way to explain the risk of a pandemic.
But Wongerichten said the government forced restaurants to close, and insurers should cover at least some of the cost of destruction.
“We paid so many years for insurance, we spent about $ 25 million over the past 10 years. I feel that they should increase our help a bit, ”Wengerichten said.
He said that at 15 Vongerichten restaurants in New York, customers can expect a big change when they start eating outdoors.
“We really work in the new Covid world. We will no longer make the menu, ”he said.
Instead, his restaurants will use QR codes to reduce contact between servers and clients. Visitors will find a QR code on their desk that will allow their device to open a menu, place and order products on their server, and ultimately pay bills. All this minimizes communication with guests, and also helps to maintain the expectations of visitors.
Wongerichten said that 2,000 people work in his New York restaurants and that he will hire extra people for extra cleaning. While most of his employees went on unemployment insurance, he will slowly hire them back and hopes to get 75-80% by the fall. At his Parisian restaurants, 90% of his employees returned.
The New York City restaurant industry includes over 50,000 restaurants and cafes, providing 865,800 jobs and 9% of the state’s jobs. Restaurant sales across the state grew $ 51.6 billion in 2018, according to National Restaurant Association,
Vongerichten restaurants will also make big changes, adding delivery options to all venues. For example, you can now place orders at restaurants such as JGR, which in the past did not offer delivery.
Two restaurants by the French chef in Shanghai closed their doors on January 25 and returned two months later. This experience helped guide his planning when it comes to opening in New York.
“We are pleased to return to life,” he said. “People crave our food and are ready to eat in restaurants again,” he added.