NEW YORK - Famed restaurateur Danny Meyer will require all employees and customers to show proof of vaccination before working, eating or drinking inside any of his restaurants.
"I'm not a scientist but I know how to read data and what I see is that this is a crisis of people who are not vaccinated," said Meyer on CNBC. "And, I feel a strong responsibility on our part as business leaders to take care of our team and our guests and that's what we are doing."
On Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Meyer- founder of the Union Square Hospitality Group and Chair of the NYC Economic Development Corporation- was following the city's lead by mandating the vaccination of city employees.
"Vaccination is the answer. Vaccination is the future. Vaccination is the way. We showed what the city government would do. I said I thought the private sector employers would take some inspiration from that. Here's a major employer in this town saying, yup, we're going to do the same thing our way," said de Blasio during a briefing on the pandemic.
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Meyer owns 18 locations as part of the group including hot spots Gramercy Tavern and Union Square Cafe.
Employees who were not currently vaccinated had 45 days to do so or find a new job, said Meyer.
Shake Shack, founded by Meyer, would not be part of the mandate. Each of the 275 locations worldwide would make its own decision.
The announcement comes as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus rages across the country. Cases have surged in New York City which is considered an area with a substantial risk of transmission, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
To maximize protection from the delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, the CDC recommends that those who are vaccinated wear a mask indoors in public in areas with high or substantial transmission rates.