How restaurants in the Hamptons are adjusting to reopening guidelines
Zach Erdem, owner of the Hamptons restaurant 75 Main, joined Yahoo Finance's The Final Round to discuss how his establishment is faring as New York State beings to reopen.
SEANA SMITH: Welcome back to "The Final Round." Well, the restaurant industry was among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. But its troubles, though, may not be over. We had some owners facing new hurdles as they start to reopen. I'm going to bring in our next guest.
We have Zach Erdem. He's the owner of 75 Main, a restaurant in Southampton in New York. And, Zach, it's great to have you on the show.
We've been talking about the fact that so many restaurants are now, either have reopened or starting the reopening processes. So how has that process been going for you? And talk to us about the challenges that you're facing as you do so.
ZACH ERDEM: Hi, everyone. My name is Zach Erdem. I am from the Southampton, New York. I own a couple of restaurants and nightclub in the Hamptons. I own one of the largest nightclub and also another restaurant called, Blu Mar.
And last Wednesday, we start serving our regular customers, patrons. So whoever comes to our door, we serve everyone else. Our biggest issue was the first staffing. We used to-- I used to employ close to 200 people for my places-- restaurant, hotel, and nightclubs. And, well, lately, we were expecting to be open.
And they let us use outside patio. And as you can see on the picture, we were serving all over the patios. But the major issue was bringing the employees to work. I tried so hard to bring all my staff, but all the same as where we got it from. Everyone is on unemployment.
And nobody wants to come back to work. They are making $1,100, some changes while doing nothing staying home. And it was a better option for everyone else. By myself as a business owner in the Hamptons, it was the most difficult part for us. I can't get a dishwasher.
I can't get a server. I can't get a bartender. I can't get a manager. People are not coming back to work, unless you offer them cash, which will never happen. That's never going to happen.
Anyone ask for cash money or any, I will show them my door and get rid of them. It's biggest issue in the Hamptons. We are very seasonal places.
We only make money in June, July, and August. That money goes to 12 months for us. If we don't make those money in this months, none of this business in the Hamptons are going to survive.
- All right, so, Zach, what are you going to do then? I mean, you know, they're not coming in. They want cash. They're not going to show up. There's only so many dishes you can wash.
ZACH ERDEM: I tried so hard, as I said before. Like I have a restaurant a couple blocks down me, they cannot even open yet. They have no staff. Only owner is there, manager is there, and also they are part of the owner. There is three people in the building.
I was with them this morning. He was asking for help, if I can get some people for him. Well, it's impossible. Well, I own two restaurants, hotel, nightclub. I'm not doing nightclubbing.
Well, of course, I'm just going to do the sushi lounge. We are not going to crazy people all over together in one place. I like to make some extras for the two or three months they give us. This morning, I was putting my tables outside in patio, three times cops in Southampton officials came in and saying that they had a measurement. They checking every single table and moving all my tables all around without asking me, asking customers to either leave or change tables.
So people, when you have table, comes three. Of course, we made it very careful. Every tables, every chairs, six feet and far away each other.
Everyone puts mask on. Everyone use gloves. But when you have two, four people joins each other, the tables moves around.