New research details early impact of coronavirus pandemic on restaurant industry

COVID-19 , GRA Blog , Industry News ,

Source: National Restaurant Association

As the coronavirus epidemic rages on, 3% of restaurant operators have already permanently closed their restaurants, 44% have temporarily closed their restaurants, and 11% say they anticipate they will permanently close within the next 30 days, according to new research from the National Restaurant Association.

A survey of more than 4,000 restaurant owners and operators conducted by the Association found:

  • Nationwide, sales were down 47% during the period from March 1 to March 22
  • 54% of restaurant operators have switched to off-premises service only
  • Seven in 10 operators have had to lay off employees and reduce the number of hours worked
  • Roughly half of them anticipate more layoffs and hourly reductions over the next 30 days
  • More than six in 10 said they’ve had to reduce their operating hours

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A full 88% of operators reported that total sales volume between March 1 and March 22 this year was lower than it was during the same period a year ago.

“Association research found that 54% of operators made the switch to all off-premises services; 44% have had to temporarily close down. This is uncharted territory,” said Hudson Riehle, the Association’s senior vice president of research. “The industry has never experienced anything like this before.”

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Based on the survey results, the National Restaurant Association estimates that during the first 22 days of March, the restaurant industry lost an estimated $25 billion in sales and more than 3 million jobs.

For the latest information from the Association, go to our coronavirus information and resources page.