Coronavirus prompts Danny Meyer to donate salary to workers

Other Union Square Hospitality Group executives are taking pay cuts

Restaurant mogul Danny Meyer is foregoing his entire compensation, and instead, he is donating it to the Union Square Hospitality Group, which owns a collection of eateries in New York.

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Meyer, the group’s CEO, wrote on Twitter that he is taking some major financial steps to help out the workers, who have lost hours or jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has forced restaurants throughout the country, including New York City, to close or reduce hours.

Aside from his donation, the restaurateur said the group’s executive team will take “meaningful” pay cuts and through March 24, all USHG gift card sales will go to the effort.

Last week, the restaurant group announced it would close all 19 of its stores and lay off 80 percent of its staff at its restaurants and corporate offices, but the company said it would still offer health insurance through April 11 to affected employees, according to Grubstreet.

“In the 35-year history of Union Square Hospitality Group, this is, without a doubt, the most challenging period any of us has ever encountered as leaders,” Meyer wrote in a statement sent to FOX Buseinss. “We’ve successfully led through and weathered 9/11 and the financial crisis of 2008, but at no other point has there been such a sustained and massive dual threat to both the physical safety and economic livelihoods of our people, or the hospitality industry as a whole.

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Since first reports of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, more than 200,000 people have been infected and about 8,300 people have died, according to data from the World Health Organization.

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