Coronavirus Has Cost Restaurants An Estimated $120 Billion In Sales So Far

Kristin Salaky
Photo credit: DIRK WAEM - Getty Images
Photo credit: DIRK WAEM - Getty Images

From Delish

Even as states begin to slowly lift social distancing restrictions, the restaurant industry continues to be hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. With dining rooms opening, restaurant owners have to combat decreased capacity, higher costs of food, and general unease from some customers and staff about going out to eat again. Recently, we got our clearest picture yet on the economic toll that it's taken.

The restaurant industry as a whole likely lost more than $120 billion in sales during March, April, and May, according to a recent survey by The National Restaurant Association. They are also expecting the industry to lose $240 billion by the end of the year.

Restaurant sales were up $9 billion in May compared to April, but were still way below normal levels, according to the survey. May sales were $27 billion down from the sales levels in January and February, before the pandemic hit the United States. Additionally, 75 percent of restaurants surveyed say that it's unlikely they'll be profitable in the next six months.

Even as many states are allowing restaurants to open their doors for customers to eat inside, some are still choosing not to. In fact, 66 percent of restaurants surveyed that are open for take-out or delivery but haven't reopened their dining rooms say that they believe it's too soon to do so from a public health perspective, while 40 percent said their social distancing measures were not yet in place in time to open.

On another note, 55 percent of restaurants surveyed that have temporarily closed say they haven't reopened because they don't think there are enough customers yet to justify it. And 47 percent of those locations said they believe it's too soon to reopen.

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