Special Report

What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus and America’s Restaurants

Source: Courtesy of Momofuku

Momofuku Restaurant Group
> Location: New York City, Washington D.C., Boston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Toronto, and Sydney

Effective last Saturday, influential chef-restaurateur David Chang closed all of his restaurants in New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles until further notice. All salaried employees will take an unspecified pay cut. Hourly employees will be paid through Mar. 20, with those who have worked for the company for more than five years being covered through April 3. All hourly employees who currently have company health insurance will retain it through the end of April. Though the Boston outlet of Chang’s fast-food chicken chain Fuku wasn’t affected, it is now subject to the Massachusetts state order restricting all restaurants to take-out or delivery only.

Source: Jando S. via Yelp

Noodles & Company
> Location: Nationwide

This 460-unit pasta and Asian noodle chain, already known for its generous benefits, is developing a long-term paid sick leave program for employees. In the meantime, an emergency initiative will pay workers who test positive for COVID-19 or are quarantined “the average of their weekly pay based on total hours worked over the past eight weeks for a maximum of two weeks.” Managers also have the option to send home those who show “observable symptoms.”

Source: Danielle L. via Yelp

Pittsford Pub & Grille
> Location: Pittsford, New York

Like all other restaurants in New York State, this standalone restaurant in a Rochester suburb can now serve food only for takeout and delivery. It had been of special interest to some in the restaurant community, though, as it has been testing a device called Hand Wash Coach in an effort to improve and monitor employee compliance with hand-washing protocols. Attached to an employee sink, the Coach tells users to dampen their hands for three seconds, apply soap, rub their hands together for 15 seconds, then dry their hands with paper towels. It also keeps track of how often each employee scrubs down. The system, including a camera and a monitor, costs about $1,200 per sink.

Source: Courtesy of The Plumed Horse

The Plumed Horse
> Location: Saratoga, California

This Michelin-starred restaurant in Northern California’s Silicon Valley has removed 21 of its 36 tables so that parties can be separated by at least six feet. Servers at the restaurant wear single-use gloves, discarding them after each customer interaction, and sick workers will be paid for up to 14 days.

Source: Courtesy of Saffron De Twah

Saffron De Twah
> Location: Detroit

“After consultation with medical professionals,” this small modern-Moroccan establishment — named Detroit’s 2019 restaurant of the year by Eater — anticipated the official state ban on in-house dining across Michigan by closing its dining room and temporarily switching to take-out only.