A new report has emerged stating that 10,000 U.S. restaurants have closed their doors in the past three months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with industry bodies calling for more government support.
The numbers come from the National Restaurant Association, who says that more than 10,000 restaurants in the U.S. have been forced to close their doors in the past three months, on top of more than 100,000 that have already closed.
The National Restaurant Association says that more than 110,000 restaurants have already closed their doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with this number expected to climb over the holiday season. The body has written a letter to Congress with their findings, asking that the government implement more support measures to prop up the embattled industry.
“What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type – franchise, chain, and independent – are in economic freefall,” says Sean Kennedy, the executive vice president for Public Affairs at the National Restaurant Association.
“And for every month that passes without a solution from Congress, thousands more restaurants will close their doors for good.”
The representative body conducted a survey of 6,000 restaurant managers and 250 supply chain businesses linked to the hospitality industry between the 17th and 30th of November. The findings of that survey concluded that:
- 17% of restaurants – more than 110,000 establishments – are closed permanently or long-term.
- The vast majority of permanently closed restaurants were well-established businesses, and fixtures in their community. On average, these restaurants had been in business for 16 years, and 16% had been open for at least 30 years.
- Only 48% of these former restaurant owners say it is likely they will remain in the industry in any form in the months or years ahead.
- Eighty-seven percent of full service restaurants (independent, chain, and franchise) report an average 36% drop in sales revenue. For an industry with an average profit margin of 5%-6%, this is simply unsustainable. Eighty-three percent of full service operators expect sales to be even worse over the next three months.
- Although sales are significantly lower for most independent and franchise owners, their costs have not fallen by a proportional level. Fifty-nine percent of operators say their total labor costs (as a percentage of sales) are higher than they were pre-pandemic.
- The future remains bleak. Fifty-eight percent of chain and independent full service operators expect continued furloughs and layoffs for at least the next three months.
Mr Kennedy continued to explain that “in short, the restaurant industry simply cannot wait for relief any longer.”
“We appreciate the efforts of a group of moderate members of the House and Senate to advance a true compromise between the competing proposals from the Democratic and Republican leaders. If this moderate plan represents a ‘down payment’ for a larger relief package in early 2021, it will provide restaurants with immediate relief to hold on through the most dangerous point in our business year.”
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