Consumers are worried their restaurants will not survive the pandemic

COVID-19 , Industry News ,

Source: National Restaurant Association

One of the byproducts of COVID-19 and its impact on the restaurant industry has been the lost opportunities for socialization that so many people crave. This was confirmed in a new nationwide survey* commissioned by the National Restaurant Association, which found that 78 percent of adults agree that going out to their favorite restaurant is one of the things they missed most during the last few months. 

Consumers also agree that restaurants are more than just a place to grab a quick bite or celebrate an occasion. Indeed, 88 percent of adults say restaurants are an important part of their community.

The significant economic damage caused by the pandemic hasn’t been lost on consumers, and many are worried that their favorite restaurants will not be there when the coronavirus clouds part. In the same survey, 89 percent of adults said they are concerned that businesses in their community like restaurants may not be able to survive the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

This concern is certainly warranted, as 56 percent of adults reported that they are aware of a restaurant in their community that permanently closed during the coronavirus outbreak.

City dwellers were the most likely to report restaurant closures in recent months. Sixty-four percent of urban residents said they know of a restaurant in their community that has permanently closed during the last few months. Fifty-six percent of their suburban counterparts reported similarly.

While the economic impact was most significant in cities, the less-populated parts of the country certainly weren’t spared. Forty-four percent of rural residents said they are aware of a restaurant in their community that permanently closed during the coronavirus outbreak.

*Figures are based on an online survey of 1,000 adults age 18 and older conducted by Engine, August 14-16, 2020

Read more analysis and commentary from the Association's chief economist Bruce Grindy.