Skip to content

A Shocking Number of Restaurants Closed This Fall, New Survey Reports

Ten thousand more restaurants closed across the country in the past three months.

Ten thousand more restaurants closed across the country in the past three months, according to a new survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association. In total, more than 17% of all U.S. restaurants are now permanently or temporarily closed—that's more than 110,000 businesses.

The bleak figures were included in a letter urging Congress to pass a new coronavirus relief package as the restaurant industry reels. Sean Kennedy, the executive vice president for public affairs at the National Restaurant Association, warned in a letter to congressional leadership that more than 500,000 restaurants face an uncertain future amid "an economic free fall."

"And for every month that passes without a solution from Congress, thousands more restaurants will close their doors for good," Kennedy wrote. (Related: McDonald's Is Making These 8 Major Upgrades.)

The association gathered restaurant closure data by surveying 6,000 operators, and the data revealed that 87% of full-service restaurants had experienced an average revenue drop of 36%. That sharp decline sparked widespread bankruptcies and closures.

Most businesses expected sales to be "even worse" over the next three months. Thirty-seven percent said it was unlikely they would still be in business six months from now without additional federal relief, while 36% said they were considering temporarily shutting down operations until the end of the pandemic.

The vast majority of the newly closed restaurants were long-standing fixtures in their communities, which were in business for an average of 16 years. No restaurant model was left unscathed: The list included everything from independent restaurants to fast-food chains and franchises.

Here are some of the most iconic restaurants that closed in every state, plus a list of fast-food chains that have filed for bankruptcy this year. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest restaurant news delivered straight to your inbox.

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.
Mura Dominko
Mura is a Deputy Editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more