Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and National Restaurant Association Call for Congress to Act Immediately
New Survey Findings Reveal Dire Situation for Restaurant Operators without Federal Financial Assistance
Today, the National Restaurant Association is releasing a letter to Congress with the results of the latest survey on the economic health of the industry, and the findings are bleak:
- 110,000 restaurants nationwide are closed… 10,000 more since our last survey just a few months ago.
- 52% of former owners of shuttered restaurants say they will not return to the industry.
- 59% of owners report their costs are going up even as sales are going down.
- The average restaurant that is now permanently closed was in business for 16 years in the community.
In Oregon, the findings are as follows:
- 80% of Oregon restaurant operators say their total dollar sales volume in October was lower than it was in October 2019.
- Overall, sales were down 30% on average.
- 39% of Oregon operators say it is unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now, if there are no additional relief packages from the federal government.
- 88% of Oregon operators say their current staffing level is lower than what it would normally be in the absence of COVID-19.
- 66% of restaurants are currently more than 20% below normal staffing levels.
For months, Congress has been trapped in a political tug-of-war while restaurants continue to go dark. A group of moderate Democrats and Republicans last week unveiled a compromise plan bringing both parties back to the negotiating table. They are calling for a $909 billion relief bill, including a second round of Paycheck Protection Program grants, which with improvements could provide immediate assistance to restaurants.
“We need Congress to pass the Blueprint for Restaurant Revival,” said Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA). “While we are waiting for that to happen, we also need to make sure Congress at least passes some type of financial relief plan before leaving town for the year. Our industry simply cannot wait for relief any longer.”
While the recent $55 million in state funds will help the hospitality industry to some degree, it will not be enough to cover the massive losses brought about because of the pandemic and economic shutdowns.
“As costs continue to rise and revenues continue to fall for operators, and with more layoffs likely in the future, Oregon’s hospitality industry needs Congress to put aside the turf wars and come together to pass a relief package,” said Astley. “Without it, your neighbor’s job is in jeopardy and your favorite neighborhood restaurant may be the next one to forever close their doors.”
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which is comprised of approximately 10,000 foodservice locations and 2,000 lodging establishments with a workforce prior to COVID of 183,191.