Restaurants closed due to coronavirus face huge restart costs: Industry expert

Cameron Mitchell Restaurants founder says it will take 'well over $100K' to reopen some of his restaurants

Restauranteurs might need at least six figures to reopen eateries closed to slow the spread of coronavirus, one restaurant owner estimated.

Continue Reading Below

"Each restaurant to reopen from a standstill of 30 or 60 or 90 days is going to take tens and tens of thousands of dollars or more, well over $100,000 to open, and we're going to require a significant amount of capital to get back up and running at some point," Cameron Mitchell Restaurants founder and CEO Cameron Mitchell told FOX Business' Cheryl Casone on Monday.

AMID CORONAVIRUS, N.J. PIZZERIA OWNER BORROWS $50K TO PAY STAFF

While some restaurants are able to offer takeout or delivery in the meantime, Mitchell said his full-service restaurants "are just not really geared for takeout or delivery."

"It's like putting a Band-Aid on a jugular vein; it doesn't really help much," Mitchell explained during "The Claman Countdown." "Plus, we want to keep our people home and safe for their families and try not to help, you know, try to hinder the spread of the coronavirus."

BLUE APRON MEAL KIT DELIVERY SURGES WITH CORONAVIRUS DEMAND

While everyone sits and waits for the government to pass the stimulus package to relieve some of these businesses and to help the American economy, Mitchell admitted he's formulating a relief plan to help his employees.

"We're trying to raise $1 million to help them put some food on the table," Mitchell laid out. "We've got our health benefits taken care of at least through May.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON FOX BUSINESS

But while he's working on the reopening plan, he's concerned since it's unknown "how far and how deep this is going to get," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said his company was thriving before coronavirus hit

US ECONOMY WILL SURVIVE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC WITH 30-DAY SHUTDOWN, ACKMAN SAYS: IT'LL COME 'ROARING BACK'

"We had the best start of our year, most profitable start of the year we've ever had," Mitchell recalled. "We had big plans, lots of growth opportunities, and we were excited for our business and our people. And then it just dropped off a cliff."

NYC RESTAURANT WORKERS CRUSHED IN CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC

His company had little choice but to furlough 4,500 employees, some of who have worked for his restaurants for decades.

"It's been a horrific situation," Mitchell said. "And I like to say there's no contingency plan for the unimaginable."

CLICK HERE TO GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO