NY restaurants hardest hit in the country says national survey

Posted at 1:57 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 13:57:38-04

NEW YORK (WKBW) — New York restaurants are some of the hardest hit in the country due to the COVID-19 pandemic a national survey says.

A survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association reached more than 6,500 restaurant operators, including 550 in New York, and was conducted between April 10 and April 16.

The survey revealed the following across the country:

  • Nationwide, the food service industry will lose more than $50 billion in sales in the month of April.
  • Nationwide, more than eight million employees have been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak – this represents a 66% reduction in staff from 12 million employees in February 2020.

The survey revealed the following across NYS:

  • In New York, the food service industry will lose $3.6 billion in sales in April.
  • In New York, more than 527,000 restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed, which equates to 80 percent of the 659,500 employees that were working at New York’s eating and drinking establishments in February.
  • 93% of New York restaurant operators have been forced to lay off or furlough employees since the outbreak
  • In New York, operators report a 79% decline in sales from April 1 to April 10 when compared to last year
  • In New York, 51% of operators will continue operating for takeout and delivery only, and the remaining 49% of operators say they will temporarily close their restaurants for the next 30 days or more.
  • 97% of restaurant operators report their sales are down compared to last year
  • Four percent of New York operators have permanently closed their restaurants since the outbreak, while seven percent expect to permanently close their doors in the next 30 days.

“It goes without saying that this has been the most difficult two months the industry has seen in generations. This pandemic was more like a tsunami, with little to no time to prepare. The restaurant industry is teetering on the edge of collapse. Those that are staying open for takeout and delivery can hopefully tread water long enough to remain viable in the long run. For those that are temporarily closed, we all hope that the public health data continues to improve so that the economy can reopen enough to support them,” said Melissa Fleischut, President & CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association.

The New York State Restaurant Association says it continues to work with elected officials at all levels to advocate for sustainability for the industry.