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States where restaurants have been hit the hardest by COVID-19

  • States where restaurants have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus

    There’s virtually no industry in the world that hasn’t been impacted by the coronavirus, but few have been pummeled like restaurants in the U.S. Stay-at-home orders and other COVID-19 restrictions have forced many restaurants across the country to switch to takeout and delivery only, or close altogether. The National Restaurant Association predicted in mid-April that the restaurant and foodservice industry would suffer more than $50 billion in lost sales that month alone. Some 96% of restaurants in the fine-dining segment, which is characterized by elevated table service, have needed to lay off the vast majority of their staffs, according to a survey of 6,500 restaurant operators conducted April 10–16. The results also showed that at least four in every 10 restaurant operators have furloughed or permanently laid off all their workers.

    While restaurants in every state have seen revenue decline during the pandemic, those in some states have suffered more than others. Stacker sourced data on how restaurants have fared during the coronavirus from Womply from April 29, 2020, which found that revenue at U.S. restaurants is down by 44%. Data shows change in restaurant year-over-year sales for the week ending April 25, 2020. States are ranked from lowest to highest sales loss. Delaware and Hawaii are not included as data was not available. Stacker also looked at news articles, government reports, and information from industry trade groups to learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted restaurants in each state.

    Restaurants are eagerly waiting for the time when they can reopen safely, and in some states, they’ve already started welcoming diners back. The dining experience has changed, however. Once-crowded dining rooms have cut capacity and spaced tables far apart. Other government officials have advised that servers wear masks and gloves. And you might even need to have your temperature checked before you’re seated.

    Wondering how your favorite restaurants might be holding up? Read on to learn about the states where restaurants have been hit the hardest by the coronavirus.

    Related: Industries with the biggest dropoff in foot traffic during COVID-19

  • #48. Maine

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -8%

    Struggling with drops in revenue during the COVID-19 crisis, restaurant owners in Maine are frustrated by the shutdown. Some restaurant owners took matters into their own hands, defying restriction orders and reopening on their own. In response to the outcry, the governor pushed up the reopening date for restaurants in rural areas to May 18.

  • #47. Alaska

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -15%

    While restaurants in Alaska have been permitted to reopen since April 24, a new restriction that prohibits dine-in seating to just one quarter of total capacity may not make it feasible. Experts estimate that fewer than 5% of the state’s 1,500 restaurants will reopen, according to Sarah Daulton Oates, president and chief executive of the Alaska Cabaret, Hotel, Restaurant and Retailers Association.

  • #46. Michigan

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -18%

    Around 20 restaurants in Michigan may be permanently closing every day during the state’s stay-at-home order, said Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association in an article by Syma Chowdhry of WXYZ. The scheduled reopening date for bars and restaurants in the state is May 28, 2020.

  • #45. New Hampshire

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -20%

    New Hampshire’s hospitality industry has lost at least $800 million during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Monica Hernandez of WMUR. A task force in the state has proposed a four-phase plan to reopen restaurants, which would initially include spacing tables six feet apart, banning buffets, and capping parties at 10 people maximum.

  • #44. Vermont

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -22%

    More than $500 million of Vermont’s gross domestic product comes from restaurants, according to Anne Wallace Allen of VTDigger. Restaurant owners in the state are pushing for a meals tax abatement to help with their financial recovery from the pandemic.

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  • #43. Nebraska

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -23%

    Restaurants were allowed to reopen in 59 Nebraska counties on May 4, as long as they followed certain restrictions, according to Allison Mollenkamp of NET News. They must space tables at least six feet apart, mandate their staff wear masks, limit the size of parties to no more than six people, and operate at half capacity.

  • #42. Indiana

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -24%

    Restaurants in northwest Indiana are hoping that residents from neighboring Illinois will drive across the border for a meal as the state slowly reopens, according to Jermont Terry of CBS Chicago. Restaurants in that region have seen business decline, even though they’ve offered takeout options, and they’re hoping for a boost in business from diners outside the state.

  • #41. Arizona

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -25%

    Several restaurant chains in Arizona have suffered a 70% nosedive in sales since the COVID-19 outbreak, according to an early April report from the state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee. Even though restaurants have seen a boost in takeout orders, it hasn’t made up for significant losses incurred after in-house dining was shut down by the governor.

  • #40. Iowa

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -25%

    Restaurants in Iowa are experiencing year-over-year losses of 75% on average due to the pandemic, according to the Iowa Restaurant Association. The state’s restaurant and food service industry was also expected to see a $310 million drop in sales during the month of April.

  • #39. South Dakota

    - Average revenue vs. same week in 2019: -25%

    South Dakota was the only state that did not issue a temporary ban on dine-in service during the coronavirus outbreak, according to Colman Andrews of 24/7 Wall St. Despite an official mandate, many bars and restaurants in Sioux Falls, the largest city in South Dakota, switched to takeout only in an effort to protect staff and patrons, according to Pam Louwagie of Star Tribune.

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