NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - For 45 years DiMartino’s has served a loyal customer base, and in the midst of a pandemic, owner, Peter DiMartino says safety is priority. That’s why he says masks were an early requirement in his kitchen.
“Think about it, they’re handling your food so it makes a lot of sense to make them wear masks and they’re pretty good about it, obviously had some people that complain to the beginning but they know the seriousness of the situation now,” said DiMartino.
While it was a little bit of a struggle to compel his employees to mask up, he expects it will be even more of a challenge to impose the same rules on his customers.
“I have some extra masks so in order to not make them mad I’ll probably give them one I’m sure I’ll get some kickback but I’d like for them to wear a mask,” said DiMartino.
That’s exactly what parish president, Cynthia Lee Sheng is asking business owners to do, encourage their employees to mask up, and refuse service to those customers who don’t.
“Make no mistake, the best tool to reduce the transmission of this virus it’s for everyone to wear masks especially so indoors,” said Lee Sheng.
With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise in the parish, Lee Sheng said the best way to stave off those numbers is to require masks.
“The risk is there for everyone, and as you can for one weekend where people are lax people go to bars people go to parties is pushing us back tremendously and I’m so disappointed with the numbers were sent this week, so that is why I’m taking this action,” said Lee Sheng.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that difficult and I think it’s a good idea obviously I do think it’s a good idea cause I did it,” said DiMartino.
DiMartino says as long as the parish government is backing him up on measures to keep both his employees and his customers safe and healthy, masking up will be the new norm.
“Masking, washing your hands and keeping your distance will curb thing and that’s what it’s down to, and that’s not that difficult, it’s not that difficult, so I’m hoping we can do this because if we don’t we’re going to be singing Christmas carols with masks,” said DiMartino.
Lee Sheng said they are working on enforcement, but it will be considered a misdemeanor which can carry a $500 fine and jail time.
Lee Sheng said no one will serve jail time for this.