Junior’s Cheesecake owner Alan Rosen informed CNBC on Monday that eating places would be in critical monetary hassle in the event that they should reopen then shut again down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“This opening and closing could be the death knell of restaurants in this country,” Rosen stated on “Power Lunch.” “When people are buying up food, then you throw out $100,000 worth of food, it’s the end of you. ”
Rosen’s household owned enterprise has three areas in New York City and a fourth in Connecticut. So far, he stated solely its location in Brooklyn is open, serving takeout.
New York City eating places have been set to be capable of provide indoor eating this week, however officers scrapped these plans Wednesday as Covid-19 circumstances rose throughout different components of the nation. Restaurants within the metropolis began providing outside eating in late June.
Officials in different components of the nation are also taking steps to rollback a few of their coronavirus reopening plans, significantly concentrating on companies like bars. In Texas, for instance, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered bars to close indoor service again down and reinstituted a 50% capability restrict for eating places.
And on Monday, the mayor of Miami-Dade County in Florida responded to the state’s spike in Covid-19 circumstances by once more proscribing dine-in service for eating places. Gyms and banquet amenities additionally have been ordered to close again down.
Cheesecake sits for sale within the Bakery show counter of Junior’s restaurant.
Andrew Burton | Getty Images
Rosen, whose grandfather based Junior’s in Brooklyn, New York, in 1950, stated he has taken a cautious method to resuming service at his eating places. That is why he has been ready to make use of funds Junior’s acquired by way of the Paycheck Protection Program, he stated.
“You have to be really slow and really take your time,” Rosen stated of reopening eating places. “I got to be honest, the PPP, if used properly, will save the industry.”
Rosen acquired some criticism in April after he detailed on CNBC his intention to attend to make use of the roughly $5 million in PPP funds that Junior’s acquired till the eating places had a “very clear pathway to success.” At the time, Rosen stated he would have used up all the cash if he needed to wait till June to get the inexperienced gentle to reopen.
“We believe that because we waited from way back in April and didn’t exhaust the funds, we now have the chance to be successful for another 70 years,” Rosen stated Monday.
In the final 4 weeks, Junior’s has added about 100 folks to its payroll because it moved to reopen its Brooklyn location for takeout, Rosen stated. Each of the 4 eating places received separate PPP loans, and he stated solely funds for the Brooklyn location are to this point getting used.
He stated Junior’s plans to open its location on 45th Street in Midtown Manhattan subsequent, adopted by its one close by on 49th Street. Its location at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut would not “even have the optionality to be open,” he stated.
Lawmakers in Washington authorised adjustments to PPP just a few weeks in the past, giving recipients extra flexibility so as to have the funds be thought-about a grant, not a mortgage that they must repay. Rosen stated there stays uncertainty about this system’s precise parameters, however believes his firm is in compliance.
“I think the rules are still being thought out. I don’t think anyone knows all the definitive answers, but if the government is not allowing us to provide service and to be open, I mean to me, it seems that we’re complying,” he stated. “We’re doing what we have to do. We can’t go break the law to use the PPP funds.”
Rosen confused that Junior’s would proceed with its reopening and the rehiring of workers in the course of the coronavirus pandemic in a manner that’s “really smart and really thoughtful.”
“We want them to be fully employed. We them to be employed for the balance of their careers with us, not for 2.5 months. … We want this to be a slow build back to 100%, with everyone’s safety in mind,” he stated.