It’s safe to say most industries and the majority of businesses have suffered greatly because of the pandemic. It’s also equally safe to say that no specific category has felt more pain than the restaurant industry. You can probably tell from simply driving around the city you live in or talking to friends and family.
Now there is raw and chilling data to back it up. More than 110,000 restaurants have closed permanently or long-term in 2020, and with governors shutting down indoor dining in cold-weather cities and Gov. Gavin Newsom shutting down outdoor dining in California, the numbers are most likely going to get much, much worse.
Literally, one out of every six restaurants across the U.S. is in this category, according to a survey released by the National Restaurant Association. “The restaurant industry simply cannot wait for relief any longer,” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs at the association said in a letter to Congress. “What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type—franchise, chain and independent—are in an economic free fall.”
New York City restaurants are getting clobbered, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo has all but assured to destroy many more. He tweeted on Monday: “NEW: If after 5 days a region’s hospital rate has not stabilized, indoor dining will close or be reduced. In NYC, indoor dining would close entirely. In the rest of the state, indoor dining would be reduced to 25% capacity.”
Wow, thanks for the uplifting news there, governor. It would be nice if leaders like Cuomo could actually follow up their closure announcements with something resembling a plan to help these people try to stay afloat. The industry has all but begged for aid. The Restaurants Act is something that would establish a $120 billion fund to help restaurants.
The National Restaurant Association also revealed a survey that said 37% of restaurant operators said it is unlikely they will be in business six months from now without government relief.