Close to 90% of NYC Restaurants Struggling to Pay Rent

A recent study by the NYC Hospitality Alliance discovered that almost 90% of bars and restaurants were unable to pay rent in August.

The survey numbers came from 450+ establishments, 87% of which could not pay their full rent during this month, while 34% of them could not pay any rent at all.

This represents an upward trend, increasing from 83% in July and 80% in June.

The survey also states that 60% of landlords have still not waived rent during the pandemic, and of landlords that did waive rent, less than one-third waived more than 50 percent.


“Restaurants, bars and nightlife venues have been financially devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Andrew Rigie, Executive Director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance and First Vice-Chair of Community Board 7. “Even before the pandemic when operating at 100 percent occupancy, these small businesses were struggling to stay open. Now we’re seeing widespread closures, approximately 150,000 industry workers are still out of their jobs, and the overwhelming majority of these remaining small businesses cannot afford to pay rent. The hospitality industry is essential to New York’s economic and social fabric, and to ensure the survival of these vital small businesses and jobs, we urgently need rent relief, an indefinite extension of outdoor dining, a roadmap for expanded indoor dining, covered business interruption insurance and immediate passage of the Restaurants Act by Congress.”

View the full survey results here.

Several recently approved actions aim to aid restaurant owners in their ongoing recovery, while attempting to prevent more of them from having to close.

While outdoor dining will continue through October 31, indoor dining will return on September 30, though at a maximum capacity of 25%. A recently approved bill will also allow restaurant owners to add a 10% surcharge to customers bills until indoor dining has been in effect at full capacity for 90 days.

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  1. PaulCons September 22, 2020

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