The latest COVID-19 wave — sparked by the highly transmissible Omicron variant — has begun to hit the hospitality sector, just as the industry was starting to recover and settle into a sense of normalcy following the Delta wave.
A growing number of restaurants and bars in and around New York City are bracing themselves for impact, as Omicron swamps highly-vaccinated population centers and threatens public gatherings.
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday a “staggering” nearly 11,000 new COVID cases across the five boroughs. He said the daily rate would likely continue to rise for the next few weeks, at least, as the new variant sweeps the region. The numbers from the state (17,221) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (20,454) were even more stunning, as both figures would have NYC representing nearly a tenth of all cases nationwide from Tuesday.
New York City restaurateurs are experiencing cancellations, and more than half a dozen Broadway theaters are dark due to breakthrough cases.
But it’s not just happening in New York City.
“We’re seeing it trending roughly towards around 30 to 45% per night in cancellations, either the day before or day of which is incredibly detrimental to restaurants,” David Nayfeld, a San Francisco chef and restaurateur told Yahoo Finance this week.
“A number of restaurants [are] having to shut down very quickly because they’re getting breakthrough cases, with their all vaccinated staff,” said Nayfield. “You essentially have to account for the entirety of the loss of revenue for that night, and potentially other nights, as well as loss of products. So we’re in a really dire situation right now,” Nayfeld said.
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