It’s a difficult time for all three men at the moment, Meyer and Chef Keller said that between them they have laid off over 3000 staff members. Nevertheless, both are working to help fund support for their workers and look forward to the moment when they can rehire staff and get back to serving food again.
“911 was the biggest body blow to the New York restaurant industry that we’d ever seen,” says Meyer. “But at least within a week or two, we had the antidote to the whole thing because we were able to bring people together. Now with the current crisis, we can’t do it because it’s not considered safe."
“There have been so many tough conversations, but I’ve been touched by the number of people who have been laid off, have received the worst news that they never expected and have reacted with such grace. They’ve said, ‘stay in touch, let us know when we can come back and we’re there for you'."
"My heart goes out to people who work so hard constantly and now can’t. We just can’t wait to get them back"
Chef Keller remarks that the hardest thing for him as an employer is the uncertainty around the whole situation.
“The other thing is the uncertainty of it all. We hear two weeks, four weeks, we hear six months… We’re hearing that my children’s school may not open until the Fall. We just don’t know, so it’s hard to give our staff any sense of comfort as to when they can come back, or what they’re going to come back to.
“For me, the uncertainty is my biggest challenge and trying to comfort everyone through this process.
“First and foremost stay safe, that’s’ the first thing for all of us. That said, though we have to continue to nurture each other in whatever way we can find. We want to make sure that our community stays emotionally connected to one another.
“I believe that the heart and the emotion of what we do drives us all and if we continue to uphold that and feed it then we’ll be Ok after we come through this process. Everybody that’s out there will have a job and they’ll have great choices for jobs and I’m really looking forward to that time."