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Danny Meyer: If you want to be unvaccinated, “you can dine somewhere else”

“If you really don’t want to get vaccinated, you can dine somewhere else and you can go to work somewhere else, too,” Meyer told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on Thursday. “I would call it a company policy rather than a mandate,” he added.

The policy will take effect on September 7. “We are asking all guests to prove that they are fully vaccinated,” a pop-up notice said on the website, adding, “Our teams must also be fully vaccinated.”

Guests will be asked to bring their “physical Covid-19 vaccination card, your New York State Excelsior pass, your state-provided vaccination card or a photo of your vaccination card to share on arrival. “, according to the hotel group’s website.

Restaurants across the United States have been wiped out by the pandemic, with thousands forced to close as the economy stalled last year. As vaccines became available in the spring, restaurant meals have started to make a comeback, but the Delta variant is putting the brakes on customers’ plans to eat again.
Meyer’s group joins a growing list of companies implementing vaccine requirements and mandates as the more virulent Delta variant continues to spread in the United States.

The restaurateur has long been a trend leader in the industry. In 2015, he introduced a no-tip policy in the company’s 18 restaurants and increased workers’ hourly wages. This policy was reversed during the pandemic as the group’s restaurants began to reopen again and the company aimed to provide more economic assistance to its employees. Meyer banned smoking in its restaurants in 2003.

Union Square Hospitality Group operates restaurants and event businesses in New York City, Washington DC, and other cities in the United States. The group’s portfolio includes the famous Union Square Cafe, which Meyer opened in New York City in 1985.

Shake Shack, the Meyer fast casual burger chain founded in 2004, has yet to define a vaccination policy. “Shake Shack will make the right decision at the right time,” he said.

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