After more than half a year of widespread coronavirus restrictions and precautions in the U.S., the restaurant industry is struggling to stay above water.
Nationwide, restaurants have had to learn to operate under COVID-19-era regulations, such as capacity limits, social distancing guidelines and mask mandates.
Through the first six months of the pandemic, almost one in six U.S. restaurants has closed long-term or permanently, and nearly 3 million employees were out of work, according to data released by the National Restaurant Association.
About 60% of restaurant operators reported operational costs have gone up as a result of COVID-19, according to the restaurant association release, and 40% of operators said it’s unlikely their business will remain open without receiving additional federal relief.
The association also estimated that, in 2020, nearly 100,000 restaurants will close their doors and industry losses will reach almost $240 billion.