Restaurants Hit Record Closures as 100,000 Shut Their Doors During Pandemic

More than 110,000 restaurants, or one out of every six, have closed down either for good or for a long period of time nationwide as the restaurant industry deals with lockdowns and restrictions as a result of the pandemic, according to Bloomberg. Food establishments in New York City are also expected to be hit hard with the upcoming possible shutdown of dining in for customers as winter approaches.

The most recent statistics, from the Washington-based National Restaurant Association, also show that the recent number of restaurant shutdowns is up from around 100,000 shutdowns in September. The survey showed about 90 percent of full-service, sit-down restaurants were facing a decline. Many restaurant owners saw their revenue fall an average of 36 percent.

“The restaurant industry simply cannot wait for relief any longer,” Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs at the National Restaurant Association, said in a letter to Congress. “What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type — franchise, chain and independent — are in an economic free fall.”

The association is appealing to Congressional lawmakers for help, according to The Washington Post. Their hope is that the Restaurants Act is passed, which is legislation would set up a $120 billion fund to help restaurants. It would be in addition to another installment of the Paycheck Protection Program. Without any assistance from the federal government, 37 percent of restaurant operators surveyed said they doubt their eateries would still be around six months from now.