De Blasio supports restaurant owner's New York vaccine mandate

De Blasio supports restaurant owner's New York vaccine mandate
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New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioMeghan, Prince Harry visit One World Trade Center Google to purchase Manhattan building for .1 billion New York to start weekly COVID-19 testing in schools MORE (D) praised Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer's decision announced on Thursday to require all staff and dine-in customers at his New York restaurants to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

While appearing on CNBC on Thursday, Meyer shared that he would be requiring the staff at the New York restaurants under his company the Union Square Hospitality Group (USHG) — Gramercy Tavern, Manhatta and Union Square Cafe — to be vaccinated. 

USHG also operates Anchovy Social in Washington, D.C. These new policies will not affect Shake Shack, from which Meyer stepped down as CEO in 2012.

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"Shake Shack will make the appropriate decision for them at the appropriate time," Meyer said.

"This is HUGE," de Blasio tweeted, saying where Meyer leads, "others follow."

"New York City fully supports this move. More businesses should mandate vaccines for the safety of workers and the safety of our city," he added. 

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Earlier this week, de Blasio implemented a vaccine requirement policy for all New York public workers, requiring them to either get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing by Sept. 13, when school is expected to fully back in session.

According to Meyer, the majority of workers at USHG are already vaccinated, and he hopes that this new policy would encourage the remainder to do so.

However, Meyer also acknowledged that one potential consequence of this policy that gave him pause was the possibility that it would make it harder to find qualified employees during a time when many businesses are struggling stay fully staffed.

"I'm making a bet that there's a huge number of employees who would actually rather come into a workforce when they know that they will be completely safe," Meyer said.