NEW YORK: Sales decreased at 98% of restaurants in United States in December 2021. Global food prices are at their highest level in 11 years, putting a strain on the restaurant business
According to a poll of 1,169 restaurants conducted by the Independent Restaurant Coalition, sales dropped by at least half at 58% of those surveyed, while 80% of restaurant owners said omicron impacted their operating hours.
The impact is particularly challenging for businesses that didn’t get funding from the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a $28.6 billion federal effort to rescue struggling businesses that was part of the American Rescue Fund.
Four out of five businesses that did not receive grants said they were in danger of permanently closing in 2022.
The fund provided as much as $5 million per location for restaurant owners — or as much as $10 million per business — who could demonstrate their businesses experienced significant financial distress during the pandemic.
In addition to a drop in sales, restaurants also struggled with staffing shortages and increased costs due to rising wages. Nearly half of restaurants that did not receive pandemic relief said they were forced to lay off staff because of the surge in cases, compared to a third of those who did receive funding.
Nearly half of restaurants also said that the cost and availability of Covid tests impacted their ability to do business.