Billionaire restaurant entrepreneur and Landry’s CEO Tilman Fertitta has had it with governors and mayors and their inconsistent “yo-yo” shutdown orders on his restaurants and the economy. He notes that despite news reports, hospitals are not even close to being overrun. “We’re not about to run out of hospital beds where we’re going to have people laying on the curve of the hospital.”
Fertitta is exasperated at the apparent lack of compassion that governors and mayors around the country have for the “poor working people of America” right now. “You cannot shut down the economy,” says Fertitta. “You cannot do this to employees. They did it to us again yesterday in California where they shut us down. There is no consideration at all for the poor working people of America right now the way they’re doing the yo-yo.”
Fertitta adds: “The problem is I’ve yet to see an elected official miss a paycheck. Until an elected official misses a paycheck and feels some pain this is going to continue to happen.”
Tilman Fertitta, CEO of Landry’s, and author of the book, “Shut Up and Listen!: Hard Business Truths that Will Help You Succeed” discusses how incompetent and disconnected urban governors and mayors have been in their response to COVID and their yo-yo shutdowns and how little they seem to care about poor working people in America:
We Are Not About To Run Out Of Hospital Beds
We went through this shutdown a couple of weeks ago and the people were back out this weekend. But remember, restaurants can only operate at 50 percent capacity. There are no bars or clubs and everybody’s being careful and everybody’s wearing face masks. We kind of leveled off at around negative 50 right now. But it’s tough out there.
We hear all these stories about the hospitals in Texas. Let me just give you Texas Medical Center in Houston which is one of the largest in the world. I think it is the largest. They’re in phase two at nine percent (capacity). This is phase two out of three phases. We’re not about to run out of hospital beds where we’re going to have people laying on the curve of the hospital. You got to remember there are 350 million people, only one percent or 340,000 people have had it. That’s less than one percent. This has got to work itself through the community and we’ve got to protect the people that can get it.
Elected Officials Are Not Worried About The Little People
At the same, you cannot shut down the economy. You cannot do this to employees. They did it to us again yesterday in California where they shut us down. There is no consideration at all for the poor working people of America right now the way they’re doing the yo-yo. The problem is I’ve yet to see an elected official miss a paycheck. Until an elected official misses a paycheck and feels some pain this is going to continue to happen.
They’re not worried about all the little people out there that are such hardworking people that make America thrive. They get their paychecks. Get them to give up 50 percent of their paychecks and feel some pain and then they’ll make better decisions for all the working people out there.
We Cannot Continue To Have The Rules Change On Us
The problem is that we’ve got mayors, governors, city, and county judges trying to make decisions. I think it is time for the government to come in and if it’s signing the War Act or whatever and doing something across the board. Remember, how you can be fair is you use percentages. If your county or city or state has this percentage of cases these are the rules you follow. This is what has to be shut down. I do think it should be federally mandated to treat everybody the same.
We cannot continue to have governors and mayors change the rules on us every other week. That is what’s happening right now. It’s totally unfair. Less than one percent of America has gotten COVID and it’s not going away. If you think your kids are going back to school and if you think all these sports are going to be played in a normal season, it’s not going to happen. Somebody’s got to take control of this situation and mandate what we all do.
You Cannot Keep Your Employees At Work Down 54 Percent
Vegas is struggling because you’re not getting all the flights in. Vegas is so built on the convention business and so vegas is struggling. In Atlantic City, there’s nothing open in the restaurant. You can’t take a drink of water and take your mask off unless it’s a health issue where you’re dehydrated and about to pass out. But Lake Charles, Laughlin, Biloxi, all your regional casinos around the country, are doing okay. They really are. But Vegas is struggling and Atlantic City is struggling.
Let’s get into the restaurants. Your higher-end restaurants are doing better right now because you’re in July. Your waterfront restaurants are doing okay. But remember, you get back into your urban areas, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and there is nobody there. Most of them are just shut down or barely doing delivery to go. Overall, when you look at all my 600 restaurants in the month of July, I’m down 54 percent. You cannot operate at negative 54 percent. You cannot keep your employees at work at 54 percent.