The state of the New York City restaurant industry is in dire straits. July proved to be another disastrous month for restaurants, bars, and nightlife establishments across the city with a majority unable to pay rent in July, a new survey found.
NYC Hospitality Alliance surveyed about 500 owners and operators of eateries in the city, with 83% of respondents indicating they couldn't pay the entire rent in July while 37% paid no rent at all.
"Restaurants and nightlife venues are essential to the economic and social fabric of our city, but they are struggling to survive and absent immediate and sweeping relief so many will be forced to close permanently," said Andrew Rigie, executive director of The Alliance.
"While complying with the necessary pause, our industry has been uniquely and financially devasted. Small businesses urgently need solutions from government leaders at the city, state, and federal level, inclusive of extending the moratorium on evictions, extending the suspension of personal liability guarantees in leases, pausing commercial rent taxes, providing landlords with needed support, and infusing small businesses with enough cash to weather the storm," Rigie said.
To make matters worse, 71% of owners and operators said landlords "would not waive portions of rent due to COVID-19." About 61% said, landlords "would not defer rent payments," while 90% of landlords "would not formally renegotiate leases."
Indoor dining in the city remains halted, "outdoor dining service is not generating sufficient revenue to cover rent and other expenses, small business owners in the industry continue to express significant concerns about surviving the pandemic and staying viable in the future," said The Alliance.
Through July, OpenTable restaurant data reveals foot traffic at eateries remains depressed.
Some restaurants in the city are just calling it quits, liquidating everything they have on Facebook Marketplace.
Is New York City in a depression?