Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants across the state and country have suffered and are still suffering a financial blow.

Columbia, SC (WOLO) – Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants across the state and nation have suffered and are still suffering a financial blow. As the pandemic continues, restaurateurs have also had to strive to find safe and sustainable ways to continue serving.

One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic is that it is constantly evolving. The restaurants were functioning normally one day, then the next day everything changed.

“It was very difficult because restaurants without real notice were told they had to shut down completely,” said Robin DiPietro, director of the University of Carolina’s School of Hospitality, Foodservice and Tourism Management. from South.

Over time during the pandemic, restaurateurs may feel uncertain about the future of their business.

“The anticipation is, over the year 2020, the total calendar year, there will be around 25% to 45% of restaurants that will not make it. And that’s a lot more than in a normal year, ”said DiPietro.

It has been a difficult year for restaurants; with the sudden shutdown, then limited reopenings, to now ensure they are in compliance with COVID guidelines.

“2020 was supposed to be a year where we were going to get up to $ 899 billion. And now we’re down from projections of around $ 200 billion, so around 25% to 30% during 2020 is what our sales volumes are going to go down, ”DiPietro said.

Many local restaurants are small businesses, and they don’t have deeper pockets to sustain the year than the bigger chains do.

“Colombia, and much of South Carolina, was built on these independent restaurants that we love so much. And a lot of them don’t have, don’t have and don’t have the cash reserves to support that amount of time with this small volume, ”said DiPietro. “Chain restaurants have the advantage of having deeper pockets and more locations. And they were impacted too, I don’t mean they weren’t impacted. But the advantage for them is that they have many locations, and a lot of restaurant chains have had to close underperforming restaurants. “

But as we move closer to 2021, there is still hope as we know the restaurant industry will eventually rebound.

“My fingers crossed we will start to see positive changes in April, May, June 2021. I hope, I am convinced that once a vaccine is found we have turned the demand back,” Di said. Pietro.

DiPietro adds that it’s up to us as consumers to keep small businesses afloat. Even if you are still not comfortable dining, there are many restaurants that offer gift certificates online.

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