4 In 10 GA Restaurants Will Close In The Next 6 Months If They Don't Get Help New Study Shows

COVID-19 , Industry News ,

Source: News Break

As the number of COVID-19 cases climbs across the country, the virus continues to impact local businesses, especially metro restaurants.

If there is no relief from the federal or local governments soon, about four in 10 restaurants in Georgia will be out of business in the next six months, according to a new study by the Georgia Restaurant Association.

That’s about 37% of existing restaurants. If that many restaurants close, it could have a huge trickle-down effect. Not only will people lose their jobs, but other local businesses that supply the restaurants with things like meat and produce will start hurting.

Since the pandemic began, restaurants across metro Atlanta have had to get creative.

From food delivery apps and outdoor dining to touchless menus and curbside pickup, metro restaurants are finding numerous ways to stay alive.

The pandemic has already claimed numerous metro Atlanta restaurants, like Rise-n-Dine, an iconic breakfast and lunch restaurant in Emory Village.

After 13 years in business, the owners made the tough decision to shut down in mid-March.

In October, they stunned their loyal customer base when they took to social media and announced they were permanently shutting down.

“We can’t do this, paying the rent we’re paying,” said George Basco, manager of Rise-n-Dine. “We knew we were in trouble and couldn’t reopen under the circumstances and put people at risk because of the people who wouldn’t wear masks.”

Unfortunately, more casualties are expected in the coming weeks unless Congress provides additional relief.

“I think the time is now for people to work together to help small businesses in the United States of America and to help our American people,” said Karen Bremmer with the Georgia Restaurant Association. “What makes this an even more dire situation is the fact that there are no holiday parties, no business dining and there’s no family dining in restaurants.”

Bremmer said that even if consumers don’t feel safe eating out, there are still plenty of ways you can support small businesses.

“The restaurant industry has pivoted to embrace everything that’s known to facilitate safe dining and safe working conditions for their work sets,” Bremmer said. “Utilize your favorite restaurant to cook your favorite holiday meal.”

But some restaurants, like Debbie’s Delights in Forest Park, which is well-known for delicious breakfast, lunch and desserts, aren’t waiting for government guidance.

Owner Susan Harris said when the pandemic hit, she shut down her dining room and focused on take out and catering for small events.

So far, it’s all paying off.

“I just kind of rearranged my focus, and I also started doing daily specials at my restaurant to keep people coming and keep them intrigued,” Harris said.

The GRA told Seiden that this time of year is also when restaurants in metro Atlanta face a tough decision about renewing their permits, licenses and insurance.

The average restaurant will pay around $40,000 in total for everything. That’s a lot to ask right now, and many may decide to close instead of paying the fees.

Read the article at News Break here.