The industry could see combined losses of $80 billion by the end of the month, and up to $240 billion by the end of the year.

New research from the National Restaurant Association indicates that the restaurant industry expects to lose more than $50 billion in sales in April, the result of the coronavirus-imposed stay-at-home policies and forced closures of restaurant dining rooms across the country.

Combined with the estimated $30 billion in lost sales in March, the industry could see combined losses of $80 billion by the end of the month, and up to $240 billion by the end of the year.

The research — a survey of more than 6,500 restaurant operators conducted between April 10 and April 16 — illustrates the damage to the industry since the outbreak began. More than any other industry in the United States, restaurants have experienced the most significant sales and job losses since the coronavirus outbreak began.

Download the Restaurant Industry Impact Infographic

Here are the biggest takeaways from the research.

  • More than 8 million restaurant employees have been laid off or furloughed since the beginning fo the coronavirus outbreak
  • Two out of three restaurant employees have lost their jobs
  • The restaurant industry expects to lose $80 billion in sales by the end of April and up to $240 billion by the end of 2020
  • Four in 10 restaurants are closed
  • 61% of operators say existing federal relief won’t prevent more restaurant layoffs

Armed with the research, the Association called on Congress on April 20, to enact a new “Blueprint for Recovery” to provide targeted relief for the restaurant industry, the nation’s second largest private sector employer with sales that exceed agriculture, airlines, railroads, ground transportation and spectator sports combined.