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The coronavirus pandemic has affected multiple industries, but none like the restaurant industry.
Restaurants rely on busy spaces acceptable for social gatherings of all sizes. It's been three months since many eateries were forced to close their dine-in seating and start the transition to takeout.
New data is showing just how devastating this pandemic really has had because of the permanent effect on many in the industry.
Yelp just released a report that showed how many U.S. restaurants on their site that permanently shut down since March 1. Since then, around 23,891 have experienced some type of closure and 53% have shut down for good.
But Yelp's report doesn't begin to show the true impact. Vanessa Sink, a spokesperson for the National Restaurant Association, told TODAY that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 660,000 eating and drinking establishments were operational in the U.S. in February.
“According to our research, 3% of restaurants have closed permanently, but the full scope of closures won’t be known until government statistics are released months from now,” Sink said. “The association projects the final number will be in the tens of thousands.”
Sink expects the percentage of restaurants that have closed permanently to only increase.
Now that states are getting the greenlight to reopen, the industry is adjusting to new social distancing guidelines and finding anyway they can keep their doors open.
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