Despite recent stimulus and positive vaccine news, Chef David Burke says restrictions and weather in New York will likely lead him to close his business temporarily in the coming months.
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Burke said he was “very positive about what was happening in March” and was cooperating with all guidelines and using PPP money.
While some restaurants are finding some success by pivoting to take out and delivery options, Burke pointed out that it doesn’t work for all establishments.
“Our type of fine dining food doesn't really translate in a plastic tub or paper box,” he said. “It's very difficult to pay, you know, high-end prices for something that's delivered.”
Burke went on to discuss the recently passed stimulus package, which includes the ability to write off meals for business professionals.
“But right now, they're not coming out," he said. "In New York, you can't even feed them."
Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared the State of Emergency in March, New York has experienced varying levels of lockdown. Both Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have warned New Yorkers in recent days to prepare for another full shutdown possibly right after Christmas.
These combined factors make the city “very tough to make any money,” Burke said. He added his company is focusing on doing well in other locations, such as New Jersey.
“We have a lot of New Yorkers coming across the bridges and tunnels and eating in our Jersey properties,” he said. “So that's a good thing for us in general.”
Looking to the holidays, Burke said he will be able to do a lot of takeout and some outdoor seating for Christmas.
“After that, we're going to have to close for a few weeks or a couple of months until this passes and it warms up [or] until we can dine inside,” he said.