Jan.26 (Reuters) – An expected 11% increase in US restaurant sales in 2021, to $ 731.5 billion, will still not be enough to offset the industry’s heavy losses in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday.
Sales in the hard-hit industry fell nearly 24% in 2020 to $ 659 billion from $ 864.3 billion the year before, according to the National Restaurant Association report.
After the virus began to spread in the United States in March, many restaurants large and small have cut staff or closed completely as governments restricted dining and consumers were reluctant to eat out.
As of December, 110,000 out of an estimated 1 million restaurants and bars had closed long-term or permanently closed, according to the report.
Among those closed permanently, many were neighborhood devices. The majority had been open for 16 years on average and 16% had been in business for at least 30 years.
There were still 2.5 million fewer jobs in the sector at the end of 2020 than before the pandemic.
A positive point for some restaurateurs was the delivery. Many added delivery for the first time in 2020 across all foodservice categories.
Using third-party services, including DoorDash Inc, Uber Eats and Grubhub Inc, was more common than launching in-house delivery, especially for fast food chains, according to the report.
However, restaurants have complained about the high commissions charged when customers order through third-party companies.
Consumers may be listening, with 64% of those surveyed by the association saying they prefer to place delivery orders directly from the actual restaurant rather than through a third-party app. (Report by Hilary Russ Editing by Bill Berkrot)