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Coronavirus Has Cost U.S. Restaurants This Much Money in Lost Sales

This pandemic has completely knocked down numerous eateries around the country.

When the coronavirus pandemic hit the United States, it caused a whirlwind of closings for all kinds of businesses. Restaurants, in particular, lost a significant amount of business and even expected to lay off 5 to 7 million restaurant employees because of it. Even though some have been able to stay open for takeout, restaurants have still lost a lot of money in sales over the past three months, and the data behind it is astounding.

According to the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the COVID-19 pandemic cost the restaurant industry $120 billion in lost sales over the past three months. $30 billion in March, $50 billion in April, and $40 billion in May.

75% of those restaurants also stated they don't expect to turn a profit from the sales they lost in the near future, and could be the demise of many eateries in the future.

Restaurants are struggling, even closing down for good.

Mom and pop restaurants aren't the only ones taking a hard hit in sales. In fact, many restaurant chains are also struggling to keep up, some closing a significant number of their locations, and even having to face the detrimental reality of closing down for good. Some of those chains include Red Robin, Potbelly, and even TGI Friday's. Over 600 locations of famous chain restaurants have been reported to close, and the number continues to climb.

Looking at data from the NRA, it seems many of the restaurant workers affected by COVID-19 came from some of the states that actually have experienced the most outbreaks. These affected restaurants in states include Florida, Texas, California, and New York.

At the moment, 76% of restaurants are reopened, most of them offering takeout and delivery services. Out of the restaurants that are temporarily closed, 25% of them have rehired some of their staff and plan on reopening soon. Of course, that's if the cities don't experience another outbreak and cause restaurants to shut down again.

So as your favorite restaurants open up, consider prioritizing them in your weekly meal planning. Support local restaurants and businesses, and if you have favorite chains that you also love, consider supporting them as well. Every type of restaurant business is struggling at the moment. Unless you're McDonald's, of course.

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Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.
Kiersten Hickman
Kiersten Hickman is a freelance health and nutrition journalist. Read more about Kiersten