Without a comprehensive relief package specifically for restaurants, 63.6% of New York restaurants said they are likely to close by the end of the year according to the most recent survey from the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA). A total of 1,042 restaurateurs from across the state responded to the survey. Their responses painted a grim picture for the industry.
“It is painfully clear that without financial assistance, the restaurant industry in New York State could collapse,” said Melissa Fleischut, President & CEO of NYSRA. “These recent survey results illustrate just how dire the financial situation has become for most restaurants, and it shows how critical it is that elected officials understand the urgency of the situation.”
The survey found that the New York State restaurant industry is struggling to exist without some form of state or federal financial assistance. Here is a full summary of the survey’s findings:
* 63.6% of restaurants said they are likely or somewhat likely to close by the end of the year without some form of financial relief; just 36.4% said they are likely or somewhat likely to remain open.
* Of those who are likely to close, 54.8% will be forced to shut their doors before November.
These results come on the heels of a NYSRA survey from August that found that 89.7% of New York’s restaurant owners say that it will be very or somewhat unlikely that their establishments will be profitable in the next six months.
NYSRA members are asking for a relief package at the federal and state levels to help keep these important community resources viable and keep people employed. When asked in a previous survey what government could do to help their businesses to survive the pandemic, the top three answers were:
* Provide commercial rent relief
* Insist that business interruption insurance claims are paid
* Increase the capacity for indoor dining, and allow for indoor dining in New York City
“We are now asking the Governor, the state Legislature and those at the federal level to simply help us survive. Without further assistance, the restaurant industry as we know it could be gone in a New York minute,” added Fleischut.
This survey follows others conducted by NYSRA over the past few months during the COVID-19 health crisis. In March, NYSRA reported that in a three-week span, New York restaurants saw an estimated loss of $1.9 billion in sales and more than 250,000 jobs. In April, NYSRA found that 80% of New York’s restaurant workforce had been laid off or furloughed since the beginning of March, totaling 527,000 jobs. The downward spiral for restaurants has continued and government financial support is desperately needed.
NYSRA conducted this survey to gain a clear understanding of the current and ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on New York restaurants. The survey was completed during the last week of August.