According to a recent survey conducted by the Ohio Restaurant Association (ORA), more than half of respondents (107 surveyed) said they fear they'll have to permanently close within the next nine months because of COVID-19. That number — 54% — is up from 31% who felt that way in a survey taken the prior week by the ORA.
Forty-seven percent of respondents also said that they’re currently operating below 50% capacity. More than 80% of Ohio restaurants, according to the association's surveys, won't break even this year.
The ORA, along with the National Restaurant Association, are pushing for congressional assistance for the industry through the Blueprint for Restaurant Revival, a comprehensive program calling for immediate action to save the restaurant and food service industry.
“The COVID-19 pandemic and capacity/curfew limitations continue to dishearten the majority of Ohio’s restaurants. While some industry sectors such as pizza are experiencing better sales, most have experienced significant sales losses for months and 54% said in our poll that they fear that they will not be able to sustain their business and will be forced to close in the next year,” said John Barker, president and CEO of the ORA. “Consumer confidence continues to decrease as the virus remains top national news. Our data shows the undeniable need for additional government support to stabilize the industry in Ohio and nationwide.”
Other findings from the survey showed:
- 75% of restaurants have reopened
- 79% have reopened indoor dining
- 17% of respondents do not plan on reopening at this time
- 14% of restaurants are actually experiencing positive sales, mostly in the pizza and fast casual sectors
The ORA has also recently created a blueprint for restaurants to open and operate safely during the pandemic called the Unified Industry Voice campaign.