Prospects are prepared to pay solely a lot for meals, but lease, utilities, insurances, taxes and meals prices hold going up. We’ve survived by reducing our labor prices to the bone, however that has left us within the business nonetheless on the sting, whereas cooks, porters, servers, dishwashers,and bartenders haven’t any important financial savings, well being care or a security internet. A number of eating places have began aid funds for his or her staffs and that’s nice, but when our staff want charity so badly now, perhaps homeowners weren’t doing this proper within the first place?
After this shutdown, we’ll must rebuild the town’s restaurant enterprise from scratch. A couple of eating places with deep pockets can most likely return to enterprise as typical, however the bulk of locations on this metropolis would reopen with monumental debt. We’ll be welcoming again staff whose financial institution accounts have been drained, who will bear important well being care prices, who will extra clearly really feel the necessity for little one care and sick days.
This shutdown has proven us that the one ethical alternative is for the business to offer a greater security internet for our staff. However proper now I can’t see that taking place as a result of I don’t suppose clients, lots of them additionally feeling extra financially precarious, can be prepared to pay the price. They’ll purchase reward playing cards and provides to charity, for which I’m grateful, however will they pay extra for his or her mussels, evening after evening?
Eating places are our assembly locations, they’re the place we mark our birthdays and anniversaries, and for years we’ve proven that we’re comfy celebrating our lots whereas those that wait on us go with out.
New Yorkers have to ask themselves if they might they be prepared to pay $eight for a latte as a substitute of $5 if it means their barista has well being care. Will they pay $100 as a substitute of $75 for a few burgers and some beers if it means the individual serving them doesn’t must rattle the cup the following time there’s a catastrophe?
New York has about 26,000 restaurants. What does the town seem like with 20,000? With 15,000? Will we be a happier metropolis with fewer eating places that cost extra however pay higher wages and supply well being care? Will we be the identical metropolis?
When this pandemic ends, will clients actually crowd again into eating places? Or will they be extra cautious with their social distancing and their cash? Will we be able to make sacrifices to construct a greater future for the individuals who pour our coffees and blend our drinks? Or will we turtle up with a vengeance and deal with our personal consolation till the following catastrophe?