Several industries have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, but no industry has been hit harder than the food service industry. With supply chain issues, Covid-safety protocol being hastily put into place and the overall shortage of available workers, small restaurants around the country are suffering.

            This is no different in Ohio, as The Ohio Restaurant Association this week released a poll that found that 71% of respondents said sales declined from August to September. That’s a reversal from earlier in the year when respondents consistently reported month-to-month growth. Here is how the poll breaks down:

  • 36% dropped between 1% and 10%
  • 29% fell between 10% and 20%
  • 6% declined more than 20%
  • 16% said sales grew
  • 13% said sales were flat

            The industry also continues to struggle with employee shortages, as 93% polled said it remains a major issue. This has led to some restaurants to limit hours or only do drive-thru instead of opening dining rooms. “We are hopeful that business conditions will improve as the Ohio Department of Health reports show Covid cases have plateaued in the state and are lower than the 21-day trend,” Association President and CEO John Barker said. With enhanced unemployment benefits ending months ago, it seems the problem is more serious than “workers staying home to get unemployment” and that restaurant owners will need to increase wages or benefits to attract workers in order to be able to fully open their doors to the public.

Source: Columbus Business News

Date: 10/8/2021