Estimates say 100,000 restaurants have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic


The National Restaurant Association has released the findings of a survey that reveal about 100,000 restaurants across the U.S. will need to close permanently or shutdown long-term amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall, the industry is expecting to lose about $240 billion in sales in 2020 as about one-sixth of our nation’s restaurants go through some kind of drastic change.

“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.”

The findings of the study showed that in the first six months of COVID-19 related shutdowns, average sales dropped sharply and have yet to rebound with sales down 34 percent in August. The restaurant industry as a whole lost an estimated $165 billion from March-July.

In addition to harming sales, the pandemic has also raised costs. About 60 percent of restaurant operators have seen costs of running their business rise.

About 40 percent of the restaurants still in business say they will not make it in the next six months without additional relief.

“The foodservice industry was the nation’s second largest private sector employer and pumped more than $2 trillion into the economy right up until our sudden shutdown,” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of Public Affairs for the Association said. “Making an investment in an industry that consumers love and that powers the economy is a good business and economic move for Congress as they search for the biggest bang for their recovery buck.”