Half of Americans say a beloved restaurant closed because of pandemic, survey finds

25% of respondents said one eatery they loved closed, while another 25% said more than one eatery closed due to the pandemic

Many Americans are doing what they can to help the restaurant industry during the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, some eateries have still been unable to keep their doors open.

In fact, a new nonprobability-based survey from LendingTree found that 50% of Americans said one or more restaurants they loved have closed because of the pandemic.

Among those respondents, 25% said that only one restaurant they loved had closed and another 25% said that more than one restaurant they loved had closed.

The problem of beloved restaurants going out of business because of the pandemic was worse in the Northeast, where 65% said one or more restaurants they loved closed.

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"The pandemic has been an absolute catastrophe for the restaurant business," Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst for LendingTree said in the report. "So many have closed and so many more are teetering on the edge and will likely continue to until we see a major decrease in COVID-19 cases and these restaurants are open to their full capacity. That's likely not happening anytime soon."

Fifty percent of Americans said that at least one restaurant they loved went out of business because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a recent LendingTree survey. (iStock)

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The LendingTree report -- which surveyed 1,023 Americans -- also found that many respondents have been trying to support their local eateries during the pandemic.

According to the survey, 32% of respondents said they’re focusing on eating at local establishments instead of chain restaurants.

Other respondents are trying to help by increasing their tipping, with 28% of respondents saying they’ve increased tipping at restaurants, 26% saying they’ve increased tipping for food delivery and 17% saying they’ve increased tipping for takeout.

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However, not everyone is on board with increased tipping. LendingTree found that 23% of respondents said they did not tip at all the last time they picked up takeout and 10% said they didn’t tip the last time they ordered food for delivery.

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“If you’re doing OK financially right now, you really should tip more,” Schulz said in the report. “A little extra tip likely won’t be a huge imposition on you, but for folks who need those tips to survive, those little extras can add up to a lot and make a real difference.”

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The LendingTree report also found that 70% of respondents have dined indoors at least once during the pandemic.

However, many respondents said they would only dine out under specific circumstances, including 25% who said they would only dine out with their immediate household and 20% who said they would only dine out if they could eat outside.

Another 41% of respondents said they’ve left a restaurant because it was overcrowded or people weren’t wearing masks.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
TREE LENDINGTREE 228.91 -5.45 -2.32%