There have been over 100,000 permanent or long-term restaurant closures nationally since the outset of the coronavirus pandemic, according to new data from the National Restaurant Association.
This figure equates to around one out of six US restaurants, and the association warned that action needs to be taken to aid the thousands more that are at risk of closing in the coming months.
The association added that around three million employees are still out of work, and that the industry is set to have lost around $240 billion by the year’s end.
In the March-July window alone, the industry lost out on around $165 billion, while August sales were still down 34% on last year.
In addition to plummeting revenues, around 60% of operators reported higher operating costs, largely due to new Covid-19 safety measures like PPE and cleaning products.
“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.”