Published On: Sat, Oct 2nd, 2021

Fast-Food Chains Close Some Indoor Seating as Cities Mandate Vaccine Checks

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NEW YORK—As New York, San Francisco, and a few other cities and counties require restaurants to check proof of COVID-19 vaccination to dine indoors, some fast-food chains are simply shutting their seating areas altogether—a move that may dent their sales. The burger chain White Castle shut the seating sections in its more than 20 New York City locations in September, after New York City began asking customers over the age of 12 to prove they received at least one does of the vaccine in order to eat indoors. By eliminating dine-in options, restaurants are forced to rely entirely on carry-out, drive-thru, and delivery orders—which are generally more profitable. That also means they can eliminate costly labor required to clean seating areas and check customers’ proof of vaccination, and perhaps have an extra employee work the kitchen or counter instead. White Castle Chief Operations Officer Jeff Carper said the chain was …

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