Survey finds 91% of restaurants are less profitable now than before the pandemic
New York’s restaurant industry continues to face widespread and overwhelming hardship in the wake of COVID-19.
A recent survey released by the New York State Restaurant Association (NYSRA) found that that 41% of New York operators say business conditions for their restaurant are worse now than they were three months ago. And only 20% say business conditions improved during the last three months.This information comes from the latest August 2022 survey conducted by the National Restaurant Association in partnership with the New York State Restaurant Association.
“Despite the wide variety of actions taken to address these issues, the numbers are compelling in terms of the continued negative impact on the industry and our continued struggles,” said Melissa Fleischut, President and CEO of NYSRA.
Additionally, the survey found that 39% of New York restaurant operators feel that business conditions will never return to normal, while 42% of operators think it will be more than a year before business conditions return to normal for their restaurant.
New York restaurants have taken several actions in recent months as a result of higher costs:
- 88% of restaurants increased menu prices, while 73% changed the food and beverage items that it offered on the menu
- 77% of restaurants reduced hours of operation on days that it is open, while 47% closed on days that it would normally be open
- 35% of operators say they postponed plans for expansion
- 49% of operators say they stopped operating at full capacity
- 53% of restaurants cut staffing levels, while 32% postponed plans for new hiring
- 17% of operators say they incorporated more technology into their restaurant
- 16% of operators say they eliminated third-party delivery
The results of this survey indicate that the recovery of New York State’s restaurant industry has also been stunted by rising costs across the board.
- 85% of operators say their total food and beverages costs are higher than 2019
- 86% of operators say their total labor costs are higher than 2019
- 70% of operators say their total occupancy costs are higher than 2019
- 86% of operators say their total utility costs are higher than 2019
- 96% of operators say their other operating costs (supplies, G&A, etc.) are higher than 2019
“This survey should serve as a reminder that the restaurant industry isn’t in the clear. A busy Friday night is great, but don’t forget that the same restaurant may be closed for lunch or dinner service on days when they used to be open. The recovery is still ongoing for most, and many will never get back the lost revenue from the worst part of the pandemic,” added Fleischut.
The survey was completed by the National Restaurant Association, in partnership with the New York State Restaurant Association, from July 14 – August 5, 2022. A total of 267 restaurants operators in New York participated.