Almost 20 Percent of Texas Restaurants Forced to Permanently Close

Despite the Governor's relaxing of stay-at-home orders, Texas restaurants are in trouble. A new survey reports nearly one in five restaurants have been forced to permanently close their doors.

Closures, layoffs, meals-to-go. Just a few of the strategies restaurant owners have either considered or implemented during March and April. According to the University of Houston and the Texas Restaurant Association, of the 1.2 million restaurant employees in the state, more than half have been or were laid off by the end of April.

The survey’s numbers are from March 19 – April 6, and indicate 41% of restaurant owners temporarily closed one or more of their restaurants. 80% of owners were forced to lay of some of their workforce.

Dr. Pablo Pinto, a political scientist with the Hobby School of Public Affairs who worked on the survey, had no idea the economic shut-down would have such a widespread impact.

“I never would have expected it to be of such a large magnitude. Even if we open up, it’s not going to pick up immediately to the level we had before the pandemic,” Pinto said.

Pinto says restaurant owners who were surveyed say they overall are optimistic for the future, but add it could take anywhere from 3 months to a year to fully recover.

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