Skip to content

Here's When a New Wave of Restaurant Closures Will Happen, According to Experts

The effects of the pandemic are far from over, which jeopardizes the livelihood of several restaurant chains.

Many cities have given restaurants the green light to reopen their doors and allow patrons to either dine inside or out on the patio. However, while restrictions are beginning to lift—even in some of the most densely populated cities—the coronavirus is far from over. In fact, epidemiologists have been warning the public about a second wave approaching in the fall.

It's possible that we will see the spread of coronavirus gradually slow as the temperatures continue to rise, however, elimination of the infectious disease likely won't occur until a vaccine is created. So, even though restaurants are enjoying having their doors open for now, the question is, how long will restaurants be able to stay open? And more importantly, will restaurants be able to financially survive through not one but two shutdowns?

According to Restaurant Business, many restaurant companies have been given a break on their rent during the pandemic from lenders and landlords in order to save them from declaring bankruptcy and shuttering many of their locations. However, if cases of COVID-19 spike again in the fall, restaurants may be forced to close their doors again. How will these businesses be able to pay the rent that was temporarily forgiven plus their next month's rent?

Aziz Hashim, the managing partner of NRD Capital (which owns Ruby Tuesday) told Restaurant Business that "There's going to be a blood bath," come fall when rent is due for many restaurants across the country. (RELATED: Click here for all of our latest coronavirus coverage.)

Ultimately, landlords will have substantial power in determining how many locations of large restaurant chains will remain open if owners and franchisees can't come up with enough rent money. Their chances of surviving will also be impacted by how many customers continue to place takeout and delivery orders, and also opt for dine-in options during this reopening phase.

In short, continue to support both chain and local restaurants during this time. Your support now will increase the chance that a restaurant survives if/when the second wave of coronavirus hits in the fall. Speaking of local businesses, be sure to read How Local Restaurants are Supporting Black Lives Matter.

Cheyenne Buckingham
Cheyenne Buckingham is the news editor of <Eat This, Not That!, specializing in food and drink coverage, and breaking down the science behind the latest health studies and information. Read more