Coronavirus News: New York City restaurants forced to reduce staff after Governor Cuomo's new order

GREENWICH VILLAGE, Manhattan (WABC) -- Businesses are adjusting to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's new order to cut their on-site staff by 50 percent, but with business grinding to a halt, many restaurants are saying they've already implemented the change.

John's Pizzeria of Bleecker Street is still serving up their coal fired brick oven pizza, considered by some the best in the nation.

Towers of empty boxes now sit stacked on top of empty tables.

"If we do business at the rate we're doing today for very long, we're going to have to make some hard decisions at the end of this week," Manager Ben Sheedy said.

Cuomo's latest executive order demands all non-essential businesses - so that includes restaurants - must reduce their staff to 50 percent.

"We will see if that slows the spread," the governor said. "If that doesn't slow the spread, then we will reduce the number workers even further."

However, at John's Pizzeria and so many other restaurants have already reduced staff by half or more and completely closed.

"Yes, it's a little redundant, we already done that," Sheedy said. "I don't know how much extra good that does with regard to keeping people from having a lot of contact with each other."

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been calling for more drastic measures.

"I think an honest conversation about shelter in place has to happen," de Blasio said. "This is a decision that can only be made by the state of New York. I will be speaking with the governor about it."

Whatever happens, none of it is good for John's Pizzeria.

"We're operating at a loss, that's obvious," Sheedy said. "At this point, it's just pay as many people as we can, keep as many people somewhat employed to get through it."

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