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One in 6 US restaurants has permanently closed amid pandemic

One in 6 US restaurants has permanently closed amid pandemic
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More than 110,000 restaurants have completely closed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, according to an estimate by the National Restaurant Association. 

The advocacy group predicts that as of Monday, 17 percent of restaurants have permanently closed, which is about 1 in 6 restaurants nationwide. The number also marks an increase from September, when the group said about 100,000 restaurants had closed. 

Thirty-seven percent of operators said it is unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now, according to a survey released Monday by the National Restaurant Association. 

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The National Restaurant Association sent the survey findings in a letter to Congress on Monday, offering its support for a compromise proposal as a down payment ahead of a larger relief package in 2021.

“What these findings make clear is that more than 500,000 restaurants of every business type—franchise, chain, and independent—are in an economic free fall,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president for public affairs at the association, in the letter. “And for every month that passes without a solution from Congress, thousands more restaurants will close their doors for good.”

Without additional relief from the federal government, the group reports that 58 percent of chain and independent restaurants expect continued furloughs and layoffs for at least the next three months. 

Revenues have been down by more than one-third compared with normal operations. Eighty-seven percent of restaurants, including independent, chain and franchise restaurants, reported an average 36 percent drop in sales revenue.

The National Restaurant Association Research Group survey was conducted among 6,000 restaurant operators and 250 supply chain businesses from Nov. 17 to Nov. 30.