Grim outlook for Maryland restaurant business in survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, and Maryland’s trade association said Tuesday that the state’s eateries had been hit harder than most.

The Restaurant Association of Maryland said in a statement that a survey from the National Restaurant Association found that the state’s restaurants were ahead of the national average in every metric designed to show the impact of the pandemic on the industry.

The most striking number: 45% of Maryland restaurant operators said it was unlikely their restaurant will still be in business six months from now if there are no additional relief packages from the federal government. That’s in comparison with a national average of 37%.

  • 89% of Maryland operators expect their sales to decrease from current levels during the next three months, compared with a national average of 65%;
  • 89% of Maryland restaurant operators say their total sales volume in October was lower than the previous October, compared with a national average of 79%;
  • 70% said their total labor costs took a larger percentage of their sales than before the pandemic, compared with a national average of 59%; and
  • 91% of Maryland operators say their restaurant’s profit margin is lower than before the pandemic, compared with a national average of 86%.

Those numbers have an effect on the restaurant jobs picture: 84% of Maryland operators say their current staffing level is lower than normal, while 67% expect their staffing levels to decline during the next three months, compared with a national average of 49%.

“The results from National Restaurant Association Research Group are staggering, but sadly they are not shocking, as we continue to see Maryland restaurants fight to stay alive,” Marshall Weston Jr., the president and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, in the statement. “The time is now to support your local restaurants. Every day is critical to their survival.”

The association suggests giving RAM gift cards as holiday presents, as well as booking small groups for dining and ordering holiday meals via takeout and delivery in advance from restaurants.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 6,000 restaurant operators and 250 supply chain businesses in the second half of November for the survey.

More Coronavirus News

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up