Restaurant and foodservice industry lost nearly $ 120 billion due to pandemic

The National Restaurant Association reports that May sales hit a new low.

According to a investigation led by the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant and food service industry likely lost nearly $ 120 billion in sales in the first three months of the pandemic.

While some diners have returned to tables at restaurants in states that have relaxed restrictions, the latest survey found that despite an “increase in sales in May, the business environment for the restaurant industry is far away. to be normal and overall losses continue to increase “.

Restaurants and bars recorded $ 38.6 billion in sales on a seasonally adjusted basis in May, according to preliminary data from the US Census Bureau.

While that figure is nearly $ 9 billion higher than reported in April, it was down $ 27 billion from previous sales levels in January and February, before the COVID-19 outbreak in states -United.

The April sales volume of $ 29.9 billion in restaurants and bars recorded by the Census Bureau was the lowest since February 1983.

“In recent years, May was generally the best-selling month for restaurants, based on unadjusted data,” said a National Restaurant Association official. “On average over the past five years, May sales at foodservice establishments have been more than 5% higher than the average monthly sales volume for the full year. This year, May sales were more than 40% lower than expected. in the absence of a pandemic. “

Foodservice sales fell more than $ 94 billion from expected levels between March and May.

Add to this the sharp reduction in spending in non-food catering operations in accommodation, arts / entertainment / recreation, education, healthcare and retail, and the lack of Total gain in restaurant and foodservice sales has likely exceeded $ 120 billion in the past three months, ”the association official said.

The association’s chief economist, Bruce Grindy, contributed to their report.

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