Houston Could Lose 20 to 30% of Independent Restaurants Due to Pandemic

Houston restaurants are still struggling to stay afloat amid the pandemic.

Despite a drop in the local COVID-19 positivity rate, more independent restaurant owners may have to shut their doors. Local industry experts estimate Houston could lose 20 to 30 percent of its restaurants due to the pandemic. Even with some restrictions loosened, Lone Star College economics professor Hank Lewis at says the situation is tough financially.

“You have a little bit of paranoia from the dining public. Some if it’s also the fact that some of these restaurants have had to keep paying rent. They’ve had to keep paying suppliers for different things to maintain open contracts, even though they weren’t selling very much. They’ve had food that was wasted from a few months ago that basically ended up causing them to lose money,” Lewis said.

Owners have been hoping Congress would pass a second stimulus bill. However, even if they get some relief, it may be too late for many.

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