"I happen to think there's some pent-up demand to get out to restaurants, get out of the house. I think people have money," Germanotta continued. "The consumers have been socking it away. They've been eating at home and cooking at home."
In response to the pandemic, Germanotta closed the restaurant for two weeks in order to "clean up" the space and said that he struggled to pay his employees. Shortly after, the restaurant owner created a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for his furloughed workers.
"I'm doing the best I can but we had to close Joanne for the month," Germanotta wrote in a now-deleted tweet. "Our staff needs some financial help. Any help for our employees will be appreciated."
He received backlash on social media following his tweet. "You're asking people that are more than likely worse off than you to pay for your staff. Come on, you can afford to pay them," one person tweeted, followed by another, who said, "why doesn't he ask his very rich daughter to help him pay his employees?"
During his interview with Fox Business, Germanotta revealed that he received a Paycheck Protection Program [PPP] Loan, which he called a "godsend," and was able to hire back his key employees.
"Initially, before I got the PPP money, I paid them out of my pocket and I just wanted to keep them going," he said. "The PPP money really, really helped out because it was—basically all we had to do was cover food cost and the rent and the lights. And that really helped."