Massachusetts restaurant owner reeling over capacity restrictions: 'We don't know if we're going to make a living'

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A Massachusetts restaurant owner fears his two restaurants will not survive now that they are limited to a maximum of 25% capacity indoors.

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"We don't even know if we are going to make a living," Leo Keka, the owner of Alba Prime Steak & Seafood, in Quincy, and Alba on 53, in Hanover, told FOX Business. "It's been very hard."

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Keka stressed that it was already hard enough to make a decent profit as a restaurant owner even during pre-pandemic times.

Now, Keka, alongside droves of other restaurant and bar owners in the state, has to abide by even tighter restrictions as the number of coronavirus cases continues to climb.

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To try to slow the spread of the virus, Gov. Charlie Baker announced that restaurants will temporarily be subject to a 25% capacity limit until at least Jan. 10. Any owner who refuses to abide by the latest restriction could face a civil fine of up to $500 per violation, according to the governor.

Prior to the pandemic, Keka had been able to seat upward of 440 people in his Quincy location. Now, he can only safely seat around 120. In Hanover, Keka is only allowed to seat around 80, down from roughly 240.

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However, Keka said he isn't even seating 25% of his maximum capacity amid peak holiday season due to virus-weary diners. Looking ahead, Keka is even more worried about what he will face in January, once the holiday season settles down.

"At 25%, it doesn't even make sense to stay open," he said.

Still, he is determined to keep the lights on and all his workers from both locations employed.

Not only does he refuse to let any of them go, but he promises to do "whatever it takes" to keep them on his payroll.

To help them out, he gave each of them — about 120 in total – 15% of every gift card purchased as a gift on Christmas Eve.

The funds totaled more than $30,000.

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