vaccine mandate

Two-thirds of NYC restaurants lost customers to vaccine mandate

The introduction of a vaccine mandate has caused strife for restaurant operators and staff in Canada and beyond.

In New York, a new survey by the New York State Restaurant Association has illustrated just how deep those problems have been running.

The survey found that more than 90 per cent of the 125 restaurants surveyed have experienced customer-facing problems enforcing the city’s vaccine mandate. 

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In particular, more than two-thirds of respondents reported some customers refused to dine inside establishments enforcing the vaccine mandate.

About 75 per cent of restaurateurs stated they have experienced staff-facing challenges since the mandate took effect in September, with 44 per cent reporting some employees’ refused to get vaccinated and had to be placed on leave.

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In addition, over 42 per cent of respondents had to reassign staff to monitor the door to enforce the vaccine mandate.

The study not only reinforces the concerns that New York City restaurant operators had voiced when the mandate was announced in August, but also mirrors the findings of a similar survey conducted in San Francisco, which found 60 per cent of area restaurants have lost business since the city implemented a vaccine mandate for diners.

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Mandates are also impacting staffing, with some workers leaving rather than getting the vaccine despite many operators’ moves to incentivize vaccinations, while some restaurateurs have to reassign other employees to enforce the mandate for customers. Nearly 40 per cent of operators in the New York survey said staff are spread too thin to easily enforce the mandate, per the NYSRA survey.