As hundreds of millions of people are strongly urged to stay at home to help limit the spread of COVID-19, the restaurant industry has been among those hit hardest and most immediately by the pandemic. As opposed to purely economic crises, which typically lead to a gradual decline in restaurant traffic, the coronavirus outbreak and the measures taken to contain it have resulted in a sudden loss of nearly 100 percent of their business for many restaurant owners in the United States and internationally.
According to figures published by online restaurant-reservation service OpenTable, restaurants around the world saw a steep decline in seated diners over the past two weeks, before the industry came to a virtual standstill this weekend. As several countries have forced restaurants to close for visitors as part of strict lockdown measures, many owners are getting creative, for example by converting their businesses into take-away joints, in order to retain some income and avoid bankruptcy.
Please note that the figures cited here are based on restaurants using OpenTable’s services only. With a global network of nearly 60,000 restaurants, it should be representative of the broader industry, however.