The US restaurant industry has lost two-thirds of its workforce and is on track to lose US$50 billion in April due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
According to new data from the National Restaurant Association, the US restaurant industry has lost over eight million employees since the crisis hit. The results of the survey by the National Restaurant Association will be included in a new industry recovery plan sent to Congress this week.
The association called on Congress to come up with a ‘blueprint for recovery’ to provide targeted relief for the second largest private sector employer in the country, ahead of airlines and railroads.
Over 60% of the restaurant owners surveyed said that existing federal relief programmes don’t enable them to keep their employees paid during the crisis.
The survey of 6,500 restaurants nationwide revealed that US restaurants lost $30 billion in March and were on track to lose $50 billion in April due to Covid-19.The figure is likely to rise to $240 billion by the end of the year.
“The restaurant industry has been the hardest hit by the coronavirus mandates, suffering more sales and job losses than any other industry in the country,” executive vice president of public affairs Sean Kennedy said in a letter to bipartisan congressional leaders.
“On 18 March, we wrote you warning of a bleak outlook for the restaurant industry as the pandemic was unfolding. One month later, we have a clearer picture of the severe challenges that lie ahead, and ask for a focused solution on behalf of an industry that is a vital part of every community.
“The restaurant industry epitomises the American dream, but it is uniquely vulnerable to both the current circumstances and the future uncertainty of dining in an era of social distancing,” he added.