Declining Revenues Show Pandemic’s Devastating Impact On NYC Restaurant Industry


A brand new survey by the NYC Hospitality Alliance finds 75% of greater than 400 eating places and bars reported their 2020 revenues fell by greater than half in comparison with 2019. One other 21% of companies stated their revenues have been down by 26-50%.

“It mainly confirmed so most of the completely different conversations we’ve had over the previous 12 months with restaurateurs telling us that they’ve been unable to function and pay their lease and afford different bills,” stated Andrew Rigie, govt director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. “They’ve both been shut down 100% or had their occupancy severely restricted,” he added, “they usually couldn’t actually survive effectively on simply doing takeout and supply.”

Eating places have been among the many hardest hit companies within the metropolis after the COVID-19 pandemic struck final March. Some have been in a position to lean extra closely on deliveries, which carried their very own charges, however outside eating couldn’t make up for the lack of indoor seating.

The trade simply gained $28 billion within the new federal stimulus by way of grants that can be utilized to cowl lease, payroll, utilities and different bills.

Jeremy Wladis, who owns the Higher West Facet eating places Good Sufficient to Eat, Hachi Maki, and Harvest Kitchen, stated he’s grateful for payroll support within the first stimulus. He stated he used it to maintain staff, even when they’d fewer hours.

“We predict it’s essential,” he stated. “I imply you go to so many neighborhoods they usually’re simply empty storefronts and no one strolling round exterior.”

However he stated total revenues at his three New York Metropolis websites declined by greater than 50% throughout the board in 2020 in comparison with 2019. He additionally owns eating places in North Carolina and Washington, D.C.

outdoor eating area


Wladis opened an out of doors pop-up when indoor eating shut down, known as Good Ramen To Eat.

Scott Lynch / Gothamist

In its survey, the NYC Hospitality Alliance discovered 49% of eating places stated lease help is essentially the most essential type of help they want whereas COVID-19 restrictions stay in impact. And half of respondents reported a mean weekly income dip of 90-100% in January 2021 in comparison with January 2020.

Rigie stated these findings present the trade wants further assist. Though the occupancy restrict in New York Metropolis simply went up from 35% to 50% this week, he stated it needs to be 75%, like different components of the state. He additionally stated the 11 p.m. curfew must also be abolished or not less than pushed to midnight. He stated the rollout of vaccines makes indoor eating safer.

However not everybody feels snug with the present tempo of reopenings for eating places, health courses and different actions. New York Metropolis’s seven-day COVID-19 positivity common continues to be above 6% and consultants surprise if new variants are taking part in a job.

Noting that stadiums and enormous outside venues are scheduled to open at 20% of capability in early April and leisure venues at 33%, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams known as on state and metropolis leaders to take a pause.

“Proper now, New York is in a race between vaccines and variants,” he stated at a press convention Wednesday. “It is neck and neck.”

He stated reopenings needs to be rolled again till vaccination efforts increase extra.

Restaurant staff got earlier entry to vaccines than different teams of New Yorkers. Wladis stated he thinks clients will begin feeling extra snug quickly.

“When you exit as soon as, you begin to suppose ‘Hey I didn’t get COVID.’ And then you definitely exit a second time and a 3rd time and also you begin to really feel higher.”