Cornell professor predicts that 30% of restaurants will go out of business

Preparing for the COVID-19 pandemic was likely not something businesses could prepare for. A public health crisis, in general, is enough to make running a business difficult.

Consumer habits have entirely shifted, and the state has mandated closure of most businesses, too.

“As long as there’s business coming in, and I have enough employees to handle the business, we’ll do what we can and stay open as long as we can, Avery Burke, owner of Pavone’s Pizza said.

He estimates that they are getting around 70% of their income from takeout orders.

Alex Susskind, a professor of Food and Beverage Management at Cornell University, says not all restaurants are going to be that lucky. In fact, he says a lot of the smaller ones will be forced to shut down.

And they might not make it out.

“The smaller local restaurants are probably going to be the ones that are hit the hardest. At some point when the money runs out, they’ll have to close,” Susskind explained.

His prediction is that approximately 30% of restaurants will have to close as result of the pandemic. Not temporarily, either. Those closures will be the permanent ones.

“The players who were able to survive will come out on the other end and figure out what the new business model is going to look like,” he added, noting that big changes could be on the way for the restaurant industry as a whole.

Do you run a restaurant? Are you concerned about making it through the pandemic? We want to talk to you for a future story on this topic. Reach us at news@fingerlakes1.com.

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