Why do restaurants stay open during COVID-19?

April 16, 2020

Andrew Schnipper is keeping his restaurants open during COVID-19.

He’s the founder of Schnippers Restaurant Group in NYC and a pillar of the NYC restaurant community. He’s pragmatic, straightforward, and honest about where restaurants are heading after COVID-19.

Andrew’s built brands through through 9/11, the financial crisis + great recession, and now this pandemic. And despite those prior shock waves, this is the scariest time for him as an operator.

Still, he’s bravely keeping his restaurants open during COVID-19. Not because (as he’ll readily admit) there’s any money in it, but because he wants to pay his people and feed the community for as long as possible.

What you’ll learn:

Our talks normally last ~2 hours, so was happy to get this one done in “just” ~40 minutes 😅. You’ll learn why:

  • it’s time to pray 🙏🏽 but at least we’re all in it together ✊🏽
  • he’s keeping his restaurants open during COVID-19
  • his team risks their own lives to serve their communities as the risk of food insecurity grows
  • the public at-large is finally understanding the restaurant operator’s perspective of third-party delivery companies
  • the PPP program is just a bad deal for restaurants
  • Fall is his time frame for when restaurants can start to get back to normal
  • now is the time for restaurants to accelerate their digital investments

If you’re an operator trying to navigate this storm, I hope you find some courage and inspiration from our conversation. Shit is hard out there and it seems like strategies keep shifting on a weekly basis.

It’s important to remember though – as Andrew notes at the end of our conversation – if you’re in this position, it’s not because you did anything wrong. There was nothing you as an operator did that led to your business being in this position. This is a wholly external shock that the entire industry is facing.

So while it may be time to pray, at least we’re all in this together.