August 03, 2021

National Restaurant Association Statement on New York City Vaccine Verification Requirement

Washington, D.C. (Aug. 3, 2021) – Today, Larry Lynch, senior vice president of Science and Industry for the National Restaurant Association, issued the following statement on the announcement that New York City would begin requiring that restaurants check for proof of vaccination for any customer wishing to eat inside a restaurant:

“The National Restaurant Association and the restaurant industry support vaccination for everyone because higher vaccination rates are our best bet for containing the spread of COVID-19. Today’s action by Mayor de Blasio will require significant changes for how restaurants are operating in the city by putting the responsibility for verifying vaccination status of employees and customers on the operator. Checking vaccination status isn’t like ID-ing a customer before serving them a drink—staff receive training on how to do that. 

Now, without training, our staff members are expected to check the vaccine status of every customer wanting to eat inside the establishment. Last year when mask mandates across the country were put in place, restaurant workers suffered terrifying backlash when enforcing those rules. The Association’s ServSafe experts had to go so far as to create a Conflict De-escalation training module to support those front-of-house workers dealing with customer push-back. We hope that the city will take this into consideration and will work with us to ensure there is clear guidance and support for our workforce.”

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.