Almost two years into the pandemic, restaurants continue to struggle to make payroll, hire and train employees, afford rising food and supply prices, and serve their communities. Restaurants are doing everything they can to keep their doors open, even amid changing consumer behavior. A recent consumer confidence survey found that:

  • 6 in 10 adults changed their restaurant use due to the rise in the delta variant
  • 19% of adults have stopped going out to restaurants
  • 9% have cancelled existing plans to go out to a restaurant in recent weeks
  • 37% have ordered takeout or delivery instead of going out to a restaurant
  • 19% have chosen to sit outside instead of inside when going out to a restaurant

Couple these findings with the fact that some 90,000 restaurants closed in the long-term or permanently due to the pandemic, and thousands are still waiting to receive grants from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), and it’s imperative that Congress do no harm to restaurants and our workforce. 

Unfortunately, some in Congress are looking to shortchange restaurants by cutting back on the Small Business Tax Deduction, a crucial tax tool that allows businesses to deduct up to 20% of their share of qualified business income (QBI). The Small Business Tax Fairness Act (S. 2387) significantly reduces the deduction for any business earning over $400,000 in QBI. 

On top of that, Congress terminated early the Employee Retention Tax Credit, a critical COVID-19 relief tax tool, as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act signed into law in November 2021.

In working with members of the House and Senate, the Association successfully helped shape the Build Back Better Act to exclude several tax provisions that would have been extremely detrimental to the restaurant industry. However, that bill still includes a tax provision that would saddle restaurants and other small businesses with $252 billion in new taxes. As the House-passed version of the Build Back Better Act undergoes changes in the Senate, the Association remains vigilant in advocating on behalf of restaurants.