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Food Service Industry Updates

Here’s Why Restaurants Need Some Good News on the COVID-19 Front


While restaurant sales grew 4.7% in August and $4.1% in July, restaurant operators don’t agree that overall business conditions are on the upswing, according to a recent survey from the National Restaurant Association (NRA). A reason is because those numbers were below the solid growth in May (31.3%) and June (27.2%).

According to NRA’s survey of 3,500 restaurant operators conducted between Aug. 26-Sept. 1, operators — by a greater than two to one margin — say business conditions worsened in August rather than got better.

Thirty-two percent of full-service restaurant operators say business conditions in August were worse than they were in July, while only 14% say business conditions improved in August. Fifty-four percent of full-service operators say business conditions in August were about the same as they were in July, according to the survey.

Operators’ assessment of business conditions is similar in the limited-service segment, which includes quick-service, fast-casual, and coffee and snack concepts. Only 13% of limited-service operators say business conditions improved in August from July, while 30% say they worsened.

If business conditions continue at current levels, 43% of full-service operators say it is unlikely their restaurants will still be in business six months from now. One-third of limited-service operators say they likely won’t survive another six months if business conditions don’t improve.