The National Restaurant Association warned that more than 500,000 restaurants are at risk of closing amid the "economic free fall" caused by the coronavirus pandemic in a letter to congressional leaders demanding a relief package.
More than 110,000 restaurants have closed, according to the National Restaurant Association's numbers.
"In short, the restaurant industry simply cannot wait for relief any longer," National Restaurant Association executive Sean Kennedy wrote in the letter. "Efforts in Washington to find the 'perfect' solution are laudable, but the lack of progress in the meantime has led too many operators to give up on the government and close down for good. Since our last update to you, less than three months ago, an additional 10,000 restaurants have closed nationwide."
The National Restaurant Association's recently released December survey found that nearly half of restaurant operators anticipate laying off workers in the coming months, and 37% of operators say it is "unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now" without government relief.
The National Restaurant Association's letter asks that a coronavirus relief package include:
–A 20-25% revenue loss threshold to allow more than 400,000 "suffering" restaurants to take out a second Paycheck Protection Program loan
–Ability for PPP borrowers to deduct "ordinary and necessary" expenses
–Streamlined forgiveness of loans under $150,000
–Enlarging forgivable expenses to cover the increased operating costs of protecting workers during the pandemic
–Removal of a limit on PPP funding for restaurants that are majority-owned by a "common parent"
It’s going to be a long time before restaurants are completely back to normal, according to a new report.
While the restaurant industry as a whole is expected to recover from the coronavirus pandemic by 2023, the full-service sector may not bounce back until two years after that, Restaurant Business reported in November, citing data from Technomic.
According to the magazine, Technomic found that the restaurant industry’s financial recovery is expected to come from limited-service restaurants that have relied on takeout, drive-thru and delivery over the last several months.
FOX Business' Ann Schmidt contributed to this report.