Three percent of restaurant operators have permanently closed their restaurants, according to research from the National Restaurant Association. Forty-four percent have temporarily closed their restaurants and 11 percent say they anticipate they will permanently close within the next 30 days.
In addition, nationwide sales were down 47 percent during the period from March 1 to March 22, and seven out of 10 operators have had to lay off employees and reduce the number of hours worked.
“This is uncharted territory,” said Hudson Riehle, the association’s senior vice president of research. “The industry has never experienced anything like this before.”