As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted for restaurants around Indiana, the hospitality industry continues to struggle to survive. A recent survey from the National Restaurant Association found that 46 percent of Hoosier restaurateurs questioned say it is unlikely they will be in business in six months if business conditions don’t improve. Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association Chief Executive Officer Patrick Tamm says the impact runs deep because of the nature of the restaurant business.
“They’re financed off of credits cards, personal loans, their homes are mortgaged into their businesses,” said Tamm. “When a business fails in the hospitality industry, it often means complete and utter financial ruin.”
Tamm talked about economic conditions and what might be next on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
The survey also suggests conditions may be getting worse. Thirty-four percent of restaurant operators say business was worse in August than it was in July.
Last week, Governor Eric Holcomb announced the state would advance to phase five of Indiana’s Back on Track reopening plan, allowing for 100% capacity at restaurants and large gatherings across the state. Marion County, however, is not yet eliminating restrictions. Effective today, restaurants, bars and nightclubs in the county can expand customer seating capacity to 50% indoors and 100% outdoors.
Tamm says the hospitality industry desperately needs longer term government relief to help stave off what could be a wave of restaurant closings.
“We’ve had six months of government-ordered shutdown in a global pandemic, which we understand, but we’ve only received six months of relief.”