Shake Shack's Danny Meyer invests in digital health passport

NYC restaurants will take longer to bounce back: Union Square Hospitality CEO

Union Square Hospitality CEO Danny Meyer discusses the postponement of indoor dining in New York City, taking an entrepreneurial approach to reopening restaurants and feeding the hungry.

New York City-based restaurateur Danny Meyer is investing in digital health passports.

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The Shake Shack founder’s Enlightened Hospitality Investment firm is leading headlining a funding round of $100 million for Clear, a platform used in airports and aiming to expand beyond aviation to restaurants and hotels with its new digital health passport, making it easier for people to safely resume public-facing activities such as indoor dining and sporting events in the age of the pandemic.

New York City-based restaurateur Danny Meyer is investing in digital health passports. (Getty Images)

Clear’s digital health passport, “Health Pass,” is a mobile app that connects people’s identities to COVID-related information such as test results and vaccination status. It’s already in use in more than 30 enterprises so far, including the National Hockey League, nine NBA teams, MGM Resorts, and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.

AMERICAN AIRLINES LAUNCHES FIRST HEALTH PASSPORT FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS FLYING TO THE US

“I’ve seen firsthand how powerful Clear’s technology can be with Health Pass creating safer working environments for our team members at Union Square Hospitality Group,” Meyer said in a statement. “And for many years I’ve experienced the exceptional hospitality Clear extends at every touchpoint.”

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Travel and hospitality have been among some of the hardest-hit industries amid the pandemic. Meyer’s restaurant group, which owns more than 20 establishments, had to lay off around 2,000 employees, or 80% of the company’s total staff last year.  And while indoor dining has resumed in cities — with New York reopening Friday at 25% capacity — the industry as a whole is still facing staggering unemployment, with 2.5 million people jobless industry-wide.

What's more, at least 110,000 restaurants have permanently closed nationwide, according to the jobs report as cited by the Independent Restaurant Coalition.

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