Slapfish Restaurant Group founder and CEO Andrew Gruel is calling on America’s restaurants to fight against tightened coronavirus restrictions, he told FOX Business Network's “Cavuto: Coast to Coast" on Tuesday.
“It’s just up to all of us to stand up and stay open,” he said. “I’m not one to try to create some sort of a rebellion but at the end of the day, there’s a tipping point.”
California's latest restrictions have been heavily criticized by small business owners who have called out lawmakers for their double standards. Restaurant owner Angela Marsden’s viral video revealed over the weekend that some industries, such as entertainment, are being given a free pass by officials while restaurants like hers are being told to shut down.
Gruel, a California chef himself, said it’s up to business owners to both weigh the cost-benefit and risk factors of staying open as opposed to shutting down, and analyze the data linked to viral spread.
“Where’s the data that proves that what we’re doing is going to lead to a spike in coronavirus when there’s exemptions that defy their own logic?” he said. “It’s very confusing.”
Gruel said consumers are all experiencing some level of “mental claustrophobia” and advocated for outside spaces being used as a moment of escape.
If restaurants continue to be forced to close ahead of the holidays, Gruel said, many won’t be able to survive, joining the tens of thousands that have already been shut down for good.
“We can’t do it much longer,” he said. “The egomaniacs up there must think that we’re stupid because you can’t exempt an entire industry, i.e. the entertainment industry in L.A., and say, ‘Oh, well, they’re exempt because they’re essential.’ Science doesn’t show they’re exempt.
“It’s just this pick-and-choose and this selective nature by which they’re making these kinds of economic decisions,” he went on. “And they’re hurting so many people. They’re taking out the little guys because they know that we don’t have the cash flow in order to lawyer up.”