October 4, 2021

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Main Street Monday – Restaurants and Bars Have Lost Almost $300 Billion During the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had detrimental effects on the restaurant industry. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund promoted hope in restaurant owners that they would secure the necessary funding to continue operations. Small business owners applied for $69 billion in aid in less than a month, much more than the $28.6 billion could provide. There have been multiple attempts to refill the RRF, but these attempts have been unsuccessful.

Here are statistics for restaurants:

• 82% of independent restaurants are concerned they might permanently close without more funding from the RRF.
• 85% of restaurant owners did not receive money from the RRF.
• In August, 45% of restaurants could not pay their rent. This increased 5% since July.
• 18% of independent operators said that their credit score fell below 570, preventing them from obtaining loans for their restaurant.
• Restaurants and bars have lost more than $280 billion during the pandemic.
• In the last year, the prices of beef (40.3%), grains (87%), and shortening and cooking oil (39.5%) have increased.

“Hundreds of thousands of neighborhood restaurants and bars are now teetering on the brink of permanent closure. Over 90,000 restaurants and bars have closed since the start of the pandemic,” says Erika Polmar, the Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition. “The only thing that will save these small businesses that support 16 million jobs is refilling the RRF.”

Independent Restaurant Coalition Press Release
Restaurant Dive Article