Some 2.2 million of the world’s restaurants could close

Many more eateries will go through restructuring

Restaurants are struggling to get by
Restaurants are struggling to get by

Some 2.2 million restaurants worldwide could close in the near future, and that’s a low estimate.

Restaurants across the price spectrum are watching bills pile up and sales flounder in the months since the coronavirus pandemic brought the industry to a near standstill, according to Bloomberg.

Consulting firm Aaron Allen & Associates estimates there are 22 million restaurants worldwide and that 10 percent of them will shutter and 20 percent or more will go through restructuring. Founder Aaron Allen called it “a conservative case.”

To get by, many restaurants have cut staff and downsized their menus. Most states allowing restaurants to reopen have strict limitations on capacity that make it impossible to bring in sales near pre-COVID-19 levels.

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Restaurant owners seem eager to re-open and start bringing in what money they can. New York City has received 4,800 applications from restaurants to reopen for outdoor dining since allowing it on Friday, although that’s less than a quarter of the 27,000 or so restaurants in the city.

Manish Mallick, owner of the popular Chicago Indian restaurant ROOH Chicago said that sales are 10 percent of pre-pandemic levels but costs continue to pile up. He said the restaurant has a couple months to turn things around.

“Ultimately I need people to come in and start dining in,” he said. “And the more time it takes, the worse it gets for us.” [Bloomberg]Dennis Lynch