Restaurateur Danny Meyer: It’s going to take a month to recruit our team back and train them

Danny Meyer, founder of Union Square Hospitality Group

Scott Eells | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Famed restaurateur Danny Meyer told CNBC on Friday that his establishments won’t be able to reopen immediately after the coronavirus outbreak slows to a point when it’s safe to go out to eat again. 

“It’s going to take a good month or so to recruit our teams back and to get them trained before we could serve the way we used to,” said Meyer, founder of Union Square Hospitality Group

Meyer’s comments on “Squawk on the Street” come days after his company laid off around 2,000 workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought the American economy to a near halt. The company said it was experiencing nearly a total elimination of revenues. 

State governments across the country have issued orders surrounding restaurants and bars, mandating they only serve takeout and delivery in order to slow the spread of the coronavirus. 

Meyer, who is donating his salary to a “fund” for the company’s employees, said the decision to layoff workers and allow them to file for unemployment was done for the long-term health of the business. 

“If we’re not around because we’re insolvent, what good will we have been to them?” said Meyer, who also founded Shake Shack

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