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Approximately one in six restaurants across the country are either permanently closed or have shut their doors for the long-term.
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Now six months after the first shutdown of restaurants in the U.S. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, around 100,000 restaurants have been forced to close their doors either permanently, or for the foreseeable future.
This data comes as a result of a study by the National Restaurant Association, which surveyed many of the one million businesses that are members of the organization.
Further findings from the study indicate that restaurant sales were down 34 per cent on average in August, and that the restaurant industry as a whole is on track to lose $240bn this year.
On the employment side, nearly three million restaurant workers are currently unemployed, and businesses have reported that their staffing levels are only 71 per cent of what they would typically be in the absence of COVID-19.
“For an industry built on service and hospitality, the last six months have challenged the core understanding of our business,” said Tom Bené, president & CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “Our survival for this comes down to the creativity and entrepreneurship of owners, operators, and employees. Across the board, from independent owners to multi-unit franchise operators, restaurants are losing money every month, and they continue to struggle to serve their communities and support their employees.”
Furthermore, 40 per cent of restaurant operators think it is unlikely that their business will still be running six months from now if there are no additional relief packages from the federal government. The National Restaurant Association has written a letter to Congress and the Trump Administration highlighting this, asking them to use bipartisan support to pass small business programs and stand-alone bills.
“This survey reminds us that independent owners and small franchisees don’t have time on their side,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs. “The ongoing disruptions and uncertainty make it impossible for these owners to plan for next week, much less next year. Congress is about to leave Washington for the elections – we need them to focus on the short-term, basic solutions that have secured bipartisan support and passed one or both chambers.
“The foodservice industry was the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer and pumped more than $2tr into the economy right up until our sudden shutdown. Making an investment in an industry that consumers love and that powers the economy is a good business and economic move for Congress as they search for the biggest bang for their recovery buck.”
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