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‘Bar Rescue’ host predicts restaurants will cut ‘between 30 and 60 percent capacity’ after coronavirus

“Bar Rescue” star Jon Taffer joined Neil Cavuto Tuesday on “Your World” to discuss the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the restaurant industry, saying social distancing would continue even after official guidelines are softened.

“I just don’t think, Neil, that we’re going to sit shoulder to shoulder with a stranger anymore,” Taffer said. “If you cough in public, you’re like a criminal today. So distancing is going to continue for a period of time.”


Taffer said businesses will have to reconfigure seating and floor plans to make people comfortable and that will have an impact on their income.

“When I take a look at restaurants, bars and those types of business models, even casinos, we have to spread out seating so that it’s a comfort for people to come inside of our businesses,” Taffer said. “When we do the math and I look at different floor plans, it’s a loss of between 30 and 60 percent capacity based upon the configuration of the business.”

In order to compensate for losing their capacity, Taffer said businesses will have to get creative.

“Lunch now has to be three hours so that I can get those hundred people in over a longer period of time,” Taffer said. “I’ve got to adjust the way I’m doing business to compensate [for] that.”


Taffer believes small casual dining in places like New York City will be impacted tremendously by the pandemic and its aftermath, while luxury dining restaurants will be impacted the least.

“Casual restaurants and small restaurants in a place like New York … they have to spread the most,” Taffer said. “They’re going to lose the most seats. A luxury dining restaurant, in theory, an upscale restaurant is spread a little more in the first place.”


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