New York restaurants are faring worse than their counterparts in other states.
Fifty-four percent of New York restaurants said they would likely not survive the next six months without federal relief, according to the most recent survey by the New York State Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association. That’s compared to 37 percent of restaurants nationwide.
“Our once-vibrant restaurant industry is suffering,” said Melissa Fleischut, president and CEO of NYSRA. “Our members are in worse economic shape than most restaurants across the country, and today’s numbers make that picture crystal clear.”
The industry groups surveyed 6,000 restaurant operators, 238 of which were located in New York, in the last two weeks of November. Of those, 78 percent of New York restaurants expect layoffs in the next three months, as opposed to 49 percent nationally. And 58 percent of New York’s restaurateurs, compared to 36 percent across the country, are considering halting operations until the pandemic passes.
One in six restaurants nationwide are estimated to have closed in the past year, according to the National Restaurant Association, which — by NYSRA’s estimate — means 4,500 in New York City have already shuttered.
Still, restaurant closures aren’t rare: A 2014 study found U.S. restaurants had a 5% to 15% likelihood of closing in a given year, depending on how long they had been open.
The association also sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to put pressure on the federal government for financial assistance for restaurants. The RESTAURANTS Act, which would provide such aid, was introduced in June, but there’s been little progress since. Congress is still hashing out a larger Covid-19 relief bill.
But Congress may not act soon enough to save the city’s struggling restaurants: Earlier this week, Cuomo threatened to shut down indoor dining in New York City if the region’s rising rate of hospitalizations from Covid-19 has not stabilized after five days. As of Dec. 10, hospitalizations were still on the rise.