In light of “very frustrating” coronavirus dining restrictions, the owners of the Joe Vicari Restaurant Group have united hundreds of Michigan restaurant owners to push back against government orders.
“I called my restaurant groups in southeastern Michigan to band together,” Joe Vicari, the president and owner of the restaurant group, said on FOX Business' “Varney and Co.” “We had about 400 restaurants come together.”
Vicari said the restauranteurs coordinated using Skype due to the state’s restrictions on in-person gatherings.
“We’re standing united,” he told host Stuart Varney. “We want to get to a solution with the governor to reopen restaurants.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a "three-week pause" on Nov. 18 which included a ban on indoor dining. While the order is set to end on Dec. 8, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she was open to extending it during a press conference last week.
Vicari said their first thought was to resist orders and “just open restaurants,” but they were told by attorneys that authorities would close every restaurant down.
Rosalie Vicari, a co-owner of the restaurant group, discussed the challenges that can come with defying these government orders.
“We learned very quickly it's hard to fight City Hall,” she said. “When you work in an industry that is controlled by licenses, a food license and a liquor license that the state holds, you don't have a lot of say.”
She went on to say that restaurants are a safe place for both employees and customers.
“We, as restaurateurs, feel very confident that we've been following the protocols that have been established by the governor to make our restaurants safe,” she said.