Chicago restaurant group to require vaccination for employees by July 15

Coronavirus

CHICAGO A prominent Chicago restaurant group announced in a memo to employees Thursday that all employees are required to be fully vaccinated by July 15.

Crain’s Chicago Business reported Friday that Fifty50 Restaurant Group, who operates the Berkshire Room and Roots Handmade Pizza, will require vaccinations for employees.

The announcement comes just as many colleges and universities have announced required vaccinations for in-person learning during the upcoming fall semester.

“We feel that by requiring our staff to be vaccinated, it will create a safer work environment for our staff and also a safer dining environment for our guests,” a statement from Fifty/50 group said.

Fifty/50 group employed approximately 700 people prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, and is looking to build back up to pre-pandemic levels of employment and business without the fear of having to close a restaurant due to an outbreak.

Scott Weiner, the co-owner of Fifty/50 had COVID-19 in the fall and likely passed it to one of the company’s chefs. The company’s West Town Bakery and Homestead closed for almost a week due to an ensuing outbreak.

“It’s just good social responsibility,” Weiner said.

The vaccination policy indicates employees who are pregnant, disabled or have another condition or religious objection can talk to management. The group said masks and sanitation will continue beyond the vaccination of all employees.

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