The owner of Big Boy in Sandusky has launched a GoFundMe to help pay for fines while defying the state's epidemic order that suspended in-person dining until Dec. 8.
Owner Troy Tank said he is staying open to help the 25 families his employees have. He said the restaurant is following the rules of social distancing with the restaurant only allowing 50% capacity. Employees and guests are required to wear masks.
Tank said that he is not anti-government, but wants to make sure there is a business for his employees to work at.
He received a cease-and-desist order from the Sanilac County Health Department.
"The department has received multiple complaints regarding your food establishment operating in violation of the Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 – Gathers and Face Mask Order as well as not providing protective measures for employees," the cease-and-desist letter read.
The letter, which was dated for Nov. 20, states that the business has already accumulated $2,000 in fines.
The GoFundMe aims to raise $150,000, claiming the restaurant is incurring fines upwards of $1,000 a day.
Between Nov. 18 and Dec. 8, the state issued an epidemic order that closed down indoor dining and bars amid a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Big Boy Restaurant Group LLC said that it is currently in the process of taking legal action against the Sandusky location to halt operations.
"Big Boy has and always will be dedicated to the health and safety of our customers and staff," a statement from Big Boy reads. "The actions of a franchisee in Sandusky, Michigan are not representative of Big Boy as a brand, our operations, or standards. Big Boy does not condone, approve or support in any way the actions of this franchisee and is in the process of taking legal action to stop them from operating as a Big Boy Restaurant under the present conditions. Big Boy has taken immediate action to rectify the situation, maintain our commitment to quality, and adherence to health regulations."
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