Chinese-American fast food chain Panda Express has shut down all 11 of its New York City locations temporarily in response to COVID-19. It’s the latest big entity to end takeout and delivery operations, as restaurants across the city opt to close entirely instead of maintaining reduced levels of business.
The California-based company said that it’s closing the restaurants “out of advanced precaution” to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the New York City area, which has become the epicenter for the crisis in the country. It had been open for takeout and delivery, and many locations elsewhere in the country remain open for those services.
The company said in a statement that it would provide pay to employees impacted by the temporary closures, and provided more than 300 meals to local hospitals before its shutter. Eater has reached out for more details about staffer pay.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo forced all restaurants and bars to close dine-in services earlier this month to help mitigate the virus, which spreads quickly particularly in crowds. Most restaurants in the state closed, but others have pivoted to being delivery and takeout spots in hopes of continuing to bring in sales to pay bills such as taxes and rent, or to hire back some employees.
Even those restaurants, though, have been closing rapidly — also due to both health concerns or changing economic situations. Favorites such as Frankies 457, MeMe’s Diner, Hug Esan, and more started off doing takeout and delivery but have since closed down temporarily as well.
Panda Express had locations in Queens, Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx. Some New Jersey locations have also closed.