Six months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and nearly 1 in 6 restaurants are closed either permanently or long-term. That equals nearly 100,000 restaurants, according to a survey by the National Restaurant Association. Nearly 3 million employees are out of work and industry overall is on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of the year.

The survey, which asked restaurant operators about the six-month impact of the pandemic on their businesses, found that most restaurants are struggling to survive and don’t expect their position to improve over the next six months. Other findings include:

  • Consumer spending in restaurants remained significantly less than normal levels in August. Overall, sales were down 34% on average.
  • Association analysis shows that the foodservice industry has lost $165 billion in revenue from March through July.
  • Sixty percent of operators say their restaurants’ total operational costs (as a percent of sales) are higher than they were prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • On average, restaurant operators say their current staffing levels are only 71% of what they would typically be pre-pandemic. · In a recent consumer survey, 56% of adults said they are aware of a restaurant in their community that permanently closed during the pandemic.

The survey also found that 40% of operators think 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.