Restaurant sales fell 24% last year
Total spending in restaurants, bars and other catering businesses fell by almost a quarter between 2019 and 2020, and although sales are expected to rise again in 2021, they are not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels. . It depends a new report released by the National Restaurant Association which documents the “staggering” toll the Covid-19 pandemic has taken on the restaurant industry.
Restaurant spending totaled $659 billion last year, down $205.3 billion from the $864.3 billion recorded in 2019, according to the association, which forecasts sales will rebound to 731, $5 billion this year. The organization’s findings are based on a survey of 1,000 adults and 6,000 restaurant owners and operators.
The association estimates that more than 110,000 restaurants nationwide have closed temporarily or permanently, many of which are long-standing businesses. The restaurants that closed permanently had been open for an average of 16 years, according to the report.
The number of people employed in restaurants and bars fell from 12.2 million in January 2020 to just 6.2 million in April before starting to recover. However, the number of industrial workers fell again between November and December.
Looking ahead, the association finds that while consumers are increasingly turning to take-out, curbside pickup and delivery options, there is pent-up demand for dining in restaurants. More than two-thirds of survey respondents said they don’t eat out as much as they would like.