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75% of Restaurants to Close

After COVID - 19

Resaurants on the other side of COVID - 19

 

75% of Restaurants to Close

 

An estimated 75% of small and independent restaurant operations will close their doors permanently as a result of the U.S Governmental forced shutdown due to the COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic.


Although by all accounts a necessary measure to save lives, the closure of thousands of restaurants, cafes, bars, coffee houses etc. could mean that through no fault of their own many will remain closed – in some cases ending generations of family owned restaurants.


And unlike big chain brands like McDonalds and other large funded restaurant groups, with their financial resources will be in better position to weather the crisis.


However an alarmingly high number of small independent cafes and restaurants simply do not have the necessary financial cushion needed and without significant assistance of a Government stimulus package they will likely close permanently.

We have been through disasters before


Of course this is not the first time the hospitality industry , namely the food service has been affected by disasters, whether due to hurricanes, fires, or earthquakes however never before have restaurants and other food service businesses throughout the entire country been forced to shut up shop with basically little to no notice and be closed for potentially months. The only positive note I could find (and I looked hard and is of cold comfort) is – “at least we are all in this together”

More financial help needed


It has become latently clear very quickly that most if not all States are unable to financially support their local economy through the crisis, they have looked to the Federal Government to provide meaningful stimulus. And to some degree they stepped up.


However what has become apparent is that more is needed and needed now. If this coronavirus crisis continues for even another 3 months the estimations for the restaurant industry are looking at likely loses exceeding $220 billion and a staggering 5-7 million in staff losses.


Large numbers of Restaurant owners and other groups are frantically coming together in an attempt to lobby congress for additional support specifically for their industry in an attempt to stop or at least reduce permanent closures from happening. It has been said those lobbing are asking for over $140 billion in recovery funding which also includes proposals for tax credits and tax cuts.


Also a group of New York restaurateurs and chiefs have come together in an aim to pressurize New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo into delaying local sales tax payments and going so far as to ask for an easing of laws surrounding the sale of alcohol as a takeout option from restaurants.

What does the future hold?


Through this crisis the landscape of the restaurant industry will be forever changed. It’s true people will continue to eat food and want to eat out after COVID 19, it’s just a question of will it go back to normal or will restaurants will need to adapt to a new normal.


Will restaurants have to change how they sell? What they sell or even how they deliver that service. Will their customers determine that a so called rebirthing or renewing of the restaurant industry?


Already restaurant owners are becoming very inventive on how to keep their business ticking over and staff employed. However those restaurants that cannot diversify and cannot endure at least 12 weeks on their own or will government assistance will have an even harder time reopening their doors when the time comes.

A long slow burn to recovery


Even when the so called “switch is flicked on and doors able to open” and restaurants fling their doors open they shouldn’t expect customers to flock back to pre COVID 19 numbers immediately or at all – the fact is this is going to be a long slow and painful recovery.


The fact that as a country the trauma felt will change how we interact with one another, how we feel about socialising, and how willing we are to congregate for events and celebrations.


For a time people out of fear will see others as a danger rather than another human being, strangers to be avoided not looked at not spoken to. The fear that the virus will return the fear that it never left.

This could also be good news


As harsh as this may sound new restaurants and other food service business were opening at an alarming rate and at some point a resetting or adjustment was really needed.


As soon as a new development went up so too a restaurant, cafes and other food related amenities the restaurant space within certain areas are already overcrowded making it difficult to survive.
With increased rent, staffing issues and pressures on staffing compensations something just had to give. So cold comfort for most however perhaps a lifeline for others.

There is still hope


Already restaurants are coming up with creative ways to keep the doors open, stories from all around the country of restaurants changing to take out, selling frozen meals in bulk, creating new products to sell like pickles and jams to add in take away orders. Some even selling staples like rice and flour – although not a long term viable solution at least having ‘hope’ as a driving force that we will get through this, we just have to hang in there and keep hold of ‘hope’

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