To mandate, or not to mandate?

That’s the question facing down restaurant owners and operators during one of the most challenging hiring environments in decades. The Food and Drug Administration approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine on Monday, opening the door for workplaces to opt to require workers to have the shot. But between enhanced unemployment benefits, hesitancy surrounding Covid, child-care hurdles and more, the industry is already facing a shortage of available workers and adding a vaccine mandate to the picture could cut both ways.

Big players in the industry have mostly remained silent on vaccine mandates for restaurant staff. McDonald’s recently pushed back its return-to-office date to Oct. 11 and said it will require its U.S. corporate workforce to be fully vaccinated by Sept. 27, with exemptions for religious or medical reasons permitted.
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