Omicron Variant Hit Restaurant Industry Hard; Replenishing the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Forecast to Save 1.6 Million Jobs
In addition, the survey found:
- Nearly 50% of restaurant operators that did not receive RRF grants feel it’s unlikely that they will stay in business beyond the pandemic without a grant.
- 94% of restaurant operators that applied for an RRF grant, but did not receive funding, said a future grant would enable them to retain or hire back employees.
The restaurant industry was hit hard by the latest surge of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant. Forced to adapt to deteriorating consumer confidence, restaurants reduced hours/days of operation, cut seating capacity, and shutdown, pivoting to off-premises dining with the end result being lower sales volumes in 2021 than in 2019.
According to the survey, we know:
- 88% of restaurants experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor on-premises dining in because of the omicron variant.
- 76% of operators report that business conditions are worse now than three months ago.
- 74% say their restaurant is less profitable now than it was before the pandemic.
Read the full letter to Congress here.
The National Restaurant Association Research Group conducted the COVID-19 Restaurant Impact Survey of 4,200 restaurant operators Jan. 16-18, 2022. Read the report of key findings here.
About the National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises nearly 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15 million employees. Together with 52 State Associations, we are a network of professional organizations dedicated to serving every restaurant through advocacy, education, and food safety. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find @WeRRestaurants on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Vanessa Sinkvsink@restaurant.org (202) 331-5900