Eating outside is the only dining-out option for New Yorkers right now-- and the wait for indoor dining could mean more debt for business owners.
Mayor Bill de Blasio on Monday said that while outdoor dining seems to be “working,” the move to open up dining rooms indoors may be a slow one due to continued concerns over the coronavirus.
The city is rethinking indoor dining rules for Phase 3 of the reopening plan, which is on track for Monday, July 6. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is also hesitant about reopening dining rooms in New York City, saying the closed indoor areas that have air conditioning can promote the spread of COVID-19.
With COVID cases up in states like Florida and Arizona, where businesses started reopening early, many others are taking caution against allowing the public to congregate in enclosed areas like restaurants, theaters and other retail facilities.
But restaurants are starving for sales. Nearly 2.2 million restaurants in the world could close, and thousands more will have to restructure or pivot business models, new data reported by Bloomberg shows.
There are an estimated 22 million restaurants worldwide and consulting firm Aaron Allen & Associates estimates that 10 percent of those could close permanently with 20 percent or more having to change their businesses.
The staggering number of estimated closures are a result of restaurant owners -- from small businesses to chains and franchises -- having to cut staff, close down dining rooms since March and reopen at a fraction of the capacity with strict limitations.