As many as 75 percent of independent restaurants could not survive closures of more than a few weeks.

An estimated 99 percent of companies in the industry are family-owned small businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The industry as a whole as of February 2020 employed more than 15 million people, representing 10 percent of the workforce directly. It is the nation’s second-largest private employer and the third-largest employer overall. It indirectly employed close to another 10 percent when dependent businesses such as food producers, trucking, and delivery services were factored in, according to Ohio restaurateur Britney Ruby Miller. Ancillary industries such as food purveyors, linen suppliers, florists, farming, fishing, trucking, beverages depend on the restaurant industry for their own financial health.

No single industry has suffered more job losses or longer closures due to the pandemic than our nation’s restaurants — and no one industry’s survival would have as profound of an impact on our economy as independent restaurants would. Time is running out and independent restaurants cannot wait. The longer Congress waits to deliver relief to independent restaurants, the more businesses risk permanently shuttering and wiping out at least 16 million jobs across the country.

Better paying jobs in the dine-in restaurant industry are being lost while lower paying jobs in fast-food are going up. Imagine a higher skilled worker from a restaurant working as a cook or a higher paid waiter being told they have to work at Mc Donald’s with a bunch of young unskilled newbies. I venture to say many simply won’t do it. You can take your low paying job at Mc Donald’s and shove it, is probably what most are thinking.

The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. Many establishments have closed and millions of people have been laid off, but the fast food sector is having a different experience. CNBC’s Kate Rogers reports.


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