As many are well aware, the coronavirus crisis has affected numerous facets of society already. This pandemic has even seen a huge effect on businesses, particularly since many Americans are self-isolating at home. The restaurant industry has been hit especially hard, according to Delish. The publication reported that more than eight million restaurant employees have either lost their jobs or been furloughed since this outbreak began. Additionally, they reported that the restaurant industry has seen "more sales and job losses than any other industry in the country."
Delish's report came by way of Food & Wine, which obtained data from the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Industry Impact Survey. Their survey included information from 6,500 operators nationwide from April 10 to April 16. According to their findings, there have been eight million furloughs and layoffs in total, meaning that two-thirds of all restaurant employees have lost their jobs amidst this crisis. It should also be noted that these findings come as six out of 10 restaurants in the country remain open. The Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy wrote a letter to congressional leaders regarding this information about the restaurant industry.
“On March 18, we wrote you warning of a bleak outlook for the restaurant industry […] as the pandemic was unfolding. One month later, we have a clearer picture of the severe challenges that lie ahead, and ask for a focused solution on behalf of an industry that is a vital part of every community," Kennedy explained. “For an industry with sales that exceed the agriculture, airline, railroad, ground transportation, and spectator sports industries combined, a restaurant relief and recovery program is desperately needed. Every restaurant model, from the beloved corner diner, to the favorite independent restaurant, to the well-known chain has an uncertain future as economic damage wrecks an industry that is only marginally profitable even in the best of times.”
Given these findings for the industry, the National Restaurant Association is asking Congress to consider its "Blueprint for Recovery." Their plan requests “targeted relief for the second largest private sector employer […] that has in the past been one of the slowest to bounce back from downturns.” While the government has already called for aid to businesses under its stimulus plan, the National Restaurant Association wants its own recovery fund that would be worth $240 billion. They also asked for additional relief in the form of fixing the Paycheck Protection Program, a tax credit or grant for when this crisis is over, and various other federal measures.