Nearly one in six restaurants in the U.S., or about 100,000 restaurants, are closed either permanently or long-term due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey by the National Restaurant Association or NRA has shown.
The survey, which comes six months after the first shutdown of restaurants for the pandemic, also found that nearly three million restaurant employees are still out of work and the industry is set to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of 2020.
The restaurant industry, the second-largest private-sector employer in the U.S., is among the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Restaurant operators nationwide reported sharp declines in sales and employment levels in recent months following the coronavirus-induced lockdowns.
According to analysis by the NRA, the foodservice industry has lost $165 billion in revenue during the period from March to July, and is on track to lose $240 billion this year. The analysis found that restaurant sales were down 34 percent on average.
Most restaurants are still struggling to survive and do not expect improvement in the the next six months.
60 percent of restaurant operators said that the total operational costs of their restaurants went up from the pre-pandemic time. The staff level is only 71 percent of what they would normally be, according to the survey.
Further, the survey found that 40 percent of operators doubt if they will still be in business six months from now without additional relief packages from the federal government.
The NRA said it has sent a letter sent to Congress and the Trump Administration today, asking them to use bipartisan support to pass small business programs in stand-alone bills.
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