Uneven customer traffic could stall restaurant recovery, national group says

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The outlook was slightly better for operators of quick-service restaurants, coffee shops and snack vendors

Restaurant

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – According to the National Restaurant Association, sit-down restaurants are suffering the most during the coronavirus pandemic and the outlook for September is more worrisome compared to their quick service counterparts.

A recent survey of restaurant operators revealed that they were nearly 50/50 on whether they would be hiring more staff heading into September.

The National Restaurant Association asked about staffing plans for fall and full-service operators were split; 26% percent said they plan to hire while 25% said they plan to layoff or furlough workers.

The outlook was slightly better for operators of quick-service restaurants, coffee shops and snack vendors. Thirty-three percent of those limited service providers said they plan to hire while 14% said they are cutting staff.

In the meantime, restaurants are working to figure out ways to accommodate more customers, while also maintaining local and state coronavirus guidelines. Some have opted for outdoor tent seating and expanded patio space.

This week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that more people will be allowed to sit inside restaurants. Restaurants will be able to seat customers indoors at 50% capacity on Sept. 21.

As of this report, groups of no more than ten can be seated together in Ohio and social distancing of seated customers is mandatory, drastically reducing seating in many establishments.

According to a recent report, 54% of Ohio restaurants believe they will have to close permanently in the next nine months if operating at their current capacity.

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