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Celeb Chef Robert Irvine Says Coronavirus Will Permanently Change Restaurant Business

Celeb Chef Robert Irvine Says Coronavirus Will Permanently Change Restaurant Business

"Restaurant: Impossible" celebrity chef Robert Irvine said the restaurant industry may never return to the way it was in a post-coronavirus world.

Irvine Says Public Will Demand Social Distancing

The era of large restaurants with large dining rooms with capacity to seat 300 guests has likely come to an end, Irvine, the Food Network star and owner of three restaurant,s told Fox's Tucker Carlson.

At best, a restaurant may reopen with half of its prior capacity, as the public will demand social distancing measures remain for "a long, long" time, he said. 

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A New Reality For Restaurants

The accounting behind a large restaurant is no different than any other business, with a minimum level of sales required to break even, Irvine said. 

Unfortunately, the reduced capacity will translate to reduced sales, but restaurants will need to spend more on cleaning habits and potentially readjusting the entire operation to better adapt to the new reality, he said. 

What's Next For Restaurants

New guidelines and rules will also need to be communicated to guests so everyone is on the page, Irvine said. 

"We have to let the guests know that it's safe to come into not only the restaurant but the stores at the same time," he told Carlson. "People are going to be scared, and ... we don't know what's going on. I'm not a doctor, [but] I know I want to get back to work. My life is about saving restaurants and that's what I've been doing."

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