The Restaurant Industry Could Lose 5 to 7 Million Jobs

Photo: Victor J. Blue/Getty Images

After the president spoke yesterday with the CEOs of major fast-food chains without promising much in the way of relief for restaurant workers, the National Restaurant Association has sent a letter to the White House detailing the pressing need for an economic plan that will protect the entire restaurant industry.

In the letter, the NRA shared devastating predictions of what could happen if nothing is done to save the second largest industry in the United States.

“Economically, we are anticipating sales to decline by $225 billion during the next three months, which will prompt the loss of between five and seven million jobs,” writes executive vice president of public affairs Sean Kennedy. “The restaurant industry is one of low margins, tight cash flow, and a workforce that depends on us for their livelihood.”

Among Kennedy’s suggestions for averting disaster: direct financial relief in the form of a $145 billion Restaurant and Foodservice Industry Recovery Fund, deferred rents and mortgages, $100 billion in federally backed business interruption insurance, a federal loan program, unemployment assistance, and tax relief.

Meanwhile, in the absence of any leadership from the White House, restauranteurs throughout the country are setting up their own relief funds and mutual aid organizations in hopes of surviving the downturn.

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The Restaurant Industry Could Lose 5 to 7 Million Jobs