Indiana restaurants anticipate nearly $1B in sales declines for April

Indiana restaurants are expected to see nearly $1 billion in sales declines in April, as they continue dealing with fallout from shutdowns and abrupt changes in business strategy caused by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Restaurant Association.

As part of a national survey of about 6,500 restaurant operators, conducted April 10-16,the association found that 98% of surveyed operators in Indiana said they experienced reduced sales during the first 10 days of April compared to the same period of 2019.

Restaurants said they had seen revenue fall by an average of 77% overall, which would mean a sales decline of about $920 million in Indiana for the month if the current trend holds.

The survey findings were released Tuesday morning through the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association.

“The [association] continues to work with leadership at all levels to manage the impact and ensure the hospitality industry is working with the most up-to-date information possible,”  Patrick Tamm, Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association CEO and president, said in written remarks.

Eateries have been forced to shift to carryout and delivery models to make up for lost business due to social distancing and statewide mandates that have temporarily eliminated dine-in services. Many have embraced alcohol as a short-term revenue source, offering beer and wine for carryout and delivery.

But most restaurants haven’t been able to make that shift, as 66% of eateries in Indiana have temporarily closed since the outbreak began. At least 2% of survey respondents have permanently closed their doors, with another 4% expecting to do the same by late May, according to the national association.

The survey also found about 200,000—or 83%—of the state’s 241,900 restaurant employees are out of work. Nationally, about 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off or furloughed.

About 91% of Indiana restaurant operators said they have had to either furlough or lay off workers since the COVID-19 outbreak began, with at least 15% anticipating they’ll have to take additional action in the next 30 days.

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