Nearly 1 In 5 Texas Restaurants Forced To Close Because Of Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic forced 19% of Texas restaurants to close permanently between March 19 and April 6, an online survey conducted by the Texas Restaurant Association and the University of Houston showed.
Survey responses also showed that 41% of restaurant owners temporarily closed one or more of their restaurants, while 80% of owners were forced to lay off some of their workforce.
The hospitality sector plays a vital role in the Texas economy. At the beginning of 2020, one out of every 10 working Texans was employed in the restaurant industry.
The University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs partnered with the Texas Restaurant Association to conduct the survey and produce a report of the findings.
Unsurprisingly, 90% of survey respondents said that between March 23 and April 6, sales were lower compared with a year ago. Only 3% of respondents reported higher sales.
The report also showed that about 38% of restaurant owners did not pay April rent, while another 30% did not pay the full amount due.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday that restaurants would be allowed to reopen at 25% occupancy on May 1, as part of the state’s plan to reopen businesses. However, even if restaurants are able to reopen, more than half of the survey respondents said that it will take their businesses longer than nine months to recover, and 3% said that they would not recover at all.
A total of 340 restaurant and bar owners were surveyed. Those owners represent 1,342 restaurants in Texas, and include 189 owners of a single restaurant, as well as 151 owners of multiple restaurants.
The online survey was conducted between April 8 and April 22.