Survey: 90% of NYS restaurants unlikely to be profitable

Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - As more and more businesses slowly attempt a return to a new normal after a coronavirus shutdown, the restaurant industry across New York State continues to feel the pain and a new survey points to a bleak outlook.

A new survey out from the New York State Restaurant Association says a comprehensive relief package specifically for restaurants is needed and that 89.7% of New York’s restaurant owners say that it will be very or somewhat unlikely that their establishments will be profitable in the next six months, potentially forcing more restaurants to close their doors for good.

“Our members have been courageously working and innovating to be successful in this changing landscape. We are forever grateful to the loyal New Yorkers who have supported their neighborhood and favorite restaurants, without whom this modest success would not be possible. Now we are urging the federal government and the New York State Legislature to show their support for this industry which plays such a vital role in our state’s economy,” said Melissa Fleischut, President & CEO of NYSRA.

The survey found that the financial impact has been devastating and the steps taken to provide relief at the federal and state levels will determine how and whether the restaurant industry will ever recover and thrive again.

Some additional findings of the survey released by the NYSRA include:

  • 93.6% of New York restaurant operators saw lower sales volume from April – July of 2020 as compared to last year. Many restaurant operators reported a decrease in sales volume from the previous year of 70% or greater.
  • 91.8% of New York restaurant operators have been forced to furlough or lay off employees since the COVID-19 outbreak, and a majority of restaurant operators (54.7%) had to lay off or furlough 90-100% of employees.
  • 74.2% of New York restaurant operators have no plans of hiring additional employees in the next 30 days.
  • 18.6% of restaurants remain closed, either temporarily or permanently. For those still closed, the top reasons were a lack of business, lack of employees and limited or no indoor dining.

 

The association is asking for a relief package at the federal and state levels that includes rent relief, insurance assistance and increased indoor dining capacities.      

“Our members are grateful for the leadership Governor Andrew Cuomo has shown in these trying times. But we’re still struggling. We are now asking the Governor, the state Legislature and those at the federal level to help us get back on our feet so we can keep our doors open and hire back the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers that we had to let go. Give us an opportunity to succeed and be a positive impact on our economy,” added Fleischut.

More than 625 New York restaurant operators completed this survey in the first week of August.