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Datassential reports 10.2% of U.S. food establishments permanently closed since the pandemic began, citing new data from the Chicago-based food industry research and insights firm’s proprietary Firefly database.

Of the 778,807 food establishments in operation since the onset of the pandemic, 79,438 have closed for good as of March 29, according to the report from Datassential. The figure includes restaurants that opened during the pandemic.

The figure includes restaurants at all levels of service: quick service (fast-food), fast casual, midscale, casual and fine dining as well as food trucks. Food trucks have been affected the most of any segment, with 22.5% of the mobile restaurants permanently off the road. The QSR segment — the biggest part of the foodservice industry — has weathered the pandemic with the fewest closures, at 9.8%. 

Chain restaurants, except for the largest chains with more than 501 units, have closed permanently at a higher rate than independent restaurants. The largest permanent closure rate among chains is restaurants with between 51 and 100 units, at 16.2%.

By cuisine, French restaurants have been the most impacted by permanent closure, at a rate of 15.3%. Mixed ethnicity operators had the next highest rates of permanent closures, at 12.7%. Burger and Thai restaurants have closed at the slowest rate during the COVID crisis, with just 7.3% and 7.5%, respectively, permanently shuttered.

The District of Columbia has seen a higher rate of permanent restaurant closures than any of the 50 states at 14.9%. Delaware has seen the lowest rate of permanent restaurant closures among the states, at 8.2%.

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