By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
No industry has suffered more losses in sales and employment as a result of the coronavirus pandemic than the restaurant and hospitality industry.
An estimated 127,000 restaurant workers have been laid off in Oregon since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in March according to the industry’s lobbying group.
The numbers from the National Restaurant Association are brutal:
- 94% of Oregon restaurant operators say they have laid off or furloughed employees since the outbreak began.
- 127,000 Oregon restaurant workers have been laid off.
- In the first 10 days of April, Oregon restaurants reported an 83% decline in sales.
- 4% of Oregon restaurants say they are now permanently closed and 6% anticipate closing permanently by the end of this month.
About half the state’s restaurants have shifted to takeout and delivery services to stay open.
“A lot of people like to call ahead that way their food and beer are ready for them by the time they get here. They’ll just come here to our south patio window and we’ll take care of them there,” said Kristin Ortiz, Boneyard Pubs Assistant General Manager.
Dave Flier, owner of Rockin’ Dave’s Bistro said he’s running around 45% to 65% of normal.
“I cut the staff to 50%. I’m really maintaining OK but some of the staff that were part of the lounge had to get unemployment,” he said.
The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association is proposing a series of relief efforts at the state and federal levels designed to retain restaurant staff, create recovery plans and bring back workers onto payrolls as soon as possible.
“Our staff is appreciative that they are going to have jobs to come back to when this is all over. We feel very lucky that we are here and part of this community,” said Ortiz.
“I’m personally enjoying the break,” Flier said. “As a business owner in a restaurant business that is generally open 360 days a year. It’s nice to have the world say, ‘hey let’s take a time out. Let’s go home. Do some stuff with your family.’ Honestly, I’d be OK doing this once a month every year.”