Shake Shack Founder Will Require All Customers and Employees to Be Vaccinated Against COVID-19

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Throughout the pandemic, there have been rules and guidelines set in place by the CDC and the government. There have also been requirements set in place by local businesses. For example, even if the state government doesn’t require employees and customers to wear face masks, a business can decide to require face masks. Now, one business owner is moving beyond face masks, and deciding to require vaccination for Covid-19.

Many businesses have encouraged their employees to get vaccinated for Covid-19. They offered compensation such a bonus of paid time for employees who went to get a Covid shot. In some cases, this was probably all the motivation employees needed to get vaccinated. Yet, not everyone reached for the “carrot” as Shack Shake founder Danny Meyer explained on the Squawk Box.

Meyer is more than just the founder of Shack Shake. He is also the CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group which operates multiple high end restaurants in New York City and Washington DC. Meyer has made the decision to “require that all staff members be vaccinated and also to require that guests who want to dine indoors in our restaurants show proof that they’ve been vaccinated.”

Meyer continued, “We feel like we’ve got an amazing responsibility to keep our staff members and our guests safe, and that’s what we’re going to do.”

He is making it as easy as possible for employees to get vaccinated.  He explained, “We have vaccinations happening in our restaurants this week. That’ll continue to happen. We’re going to give our employees 45 days to make the choice, and hopefully this will be the incentive that really makes them say, you know what, now I’m going to do it.”

Meyer admitted that they are suffering from a shortage of employees just like many restaurants are across the country, but he thinks that requiring vaccination will actually help the restaurants hire enough employees. He said, “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.”

He explained that this decision was made based on his interpretation of the data about Covid-19. He said, “I’m not a scientist, but I know how to read data, and what I see is that this is a crisis of people who have not been vaccinated. And I feel a strong responsibility on our part as business leaders to take care of our team and our guests, and that’s what we’re doing.”



This required vaccinated will only apply to the full-service restaurants in New York City and Washington DC, not Shake Shack locations. Meyer said, “Shake Shack will make the appropriate decision for them at the appropriate time.”

Do you think Meyer is right in his assumption that requiring employees to get vaccinated will actually help restaurants hire more employees? Do you think most of the unvaccinated employees at the full-service restaurants in New York City and Washington DC will quit or get vaccinated? Would you be more likely to dine at a restaurant where everyone who works there and dines there is required to be vaccinated for Covid-19?