Restaurants and the Pandemic

Restaurants and the Pandemic

Sampson Henderson, Staffer

Due to COVID-19, restaurants are closing, and the numbers are in the thousands. Many
people think that they’re closing simply because they don’t meet the sanitation standards and pose a risk due to this pandemic. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here’s the real reason why over 110,000 restaurants are closing.
Twenty-five states have had their restaurants closed by March 21st. Restaurants are closing all over the United States because they lack the finances to keep business booming. This is
because of the ban on dine-in restaurants. Bacteria isn’t transmitted through thoroughly cooked food. However, the close quarters will prevent social distancing, required in public
places and all businesses. The only option to get food is drive-thru or delivery. The
restaurants that cannot do drive-thru or delivery are in an economic free fall.
According to an article by Carolina Gonzales in the Seattle Times, more than 110,000
have closed permanently or long term across the country as the industry continues to struggle to cope with the impact of COVID-19. The findings of a survey show about 100,000 shutdowns across the country in an attempt to secure financial aid to compensate for falling sales and rising costs.
“The restaurant industry simply cannot wait for relief any longer,” Sean Kennedy,
executive vice president of public affairs at the 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 Seattle Times)

Industries are pleading for financial aid. Some operators find that labor costs have
increased because of the pandemic. Covid cases are on the rise, and Andrew Cuomo has
banned indoor dining in New York restaurants. Operators and independent businesses don’t expect their restaurants to be open much longer than six months.
Publicly traded chains and independent establishments are suffering as well.
Restaurants’ stocks have fallen by 1.3%, and they may drop even lower. 1.3% may not seem
like much, but it is a lot when talking about a nationwide shortage.