Insiders Question Whether There Will Be A Post-pandemic On-premise Alcohol Market

Posted: Apr 30, 2020

Despite innovative concepts to deal with the present nationwide lockdown, like restaurants offering pick up service, fine dining take out delivery and restaurant parking lot drive-in-movie theaters, restaurants are not doing well.

More than half the 6,500 restaurant owners the National Restaurant Association (NRA) surveyed across the U.S. claim the existing federal business relief grants do not cover enough for them to maintain employees on the payroll. As a result, the U.S. restaurant industry has shed more than 8 million employees during this pandemic. The survey also shows that the restaurant industry lost $30 billion in March, 2020; by the last day in April another $50 billion is likely to be lost. NRA estimates by the end of 2020, the restaurant industry will be down by at least $240 billion.

In a letter to Congress, the NRA executive vice president of public affairs, Sean Kennedy claimed shut down mandates across the country have hit the restaurant industry the hardest. He speculated that future need for social distancing will level an even greater blow to the industry.

The NRA asked Congress for targeted recovery relief for what it refers to as the second largest private sector employer in the country. Among other requirements NRA seeks, the top of the list includes: an industry recovery fund of $240 billion to compensate for government-ordered closings, “start-up” capital to reopen, restock, and supply new safety equipment, and to rehire and retrain staff; a tax credit or grant to help restaurants accommodate continued social distancing; and federal relief for the restaurant employer’s share of unemployment insurance.

By Thomas Pellechia
April 28, 2020
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