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Covid-19 costing restaurants $200 billion

Many locally-owned restaurants struggle to stay open

Have you eaten out lately?

Do you worry about getting covid-19 if you do?

Most Lexington County restaurants have reopened with limited seating and other guidelines.

But since the beginning of the pandemic, many have struggled.

One of the biggest challenges is that the pandemic constantly evolves.

“It’s been difficult because restaurants with no real advance notice were told they had to shut down,” Robin DiPietro, Director of the University of South Carolina’s School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management told WOLO-TV.

“About 25% to 45% of restaurants will not make it," he said.

"That’s much higher than in a normal year.

“2020 was supposed to be a year we were going to get up to $899 billion.

"Now we’re down from projections about $200 billion.

"About 25% to 30% over the course of 2020 is what our sales volumes are going to be down.” said DiPietro.

Many local restaurants are small businesses, he said,

They don’t have the deeper pockets the bigger chains do."

It’s up to us as consumers to help keep the small businesses afloat, he said.

Even if you’re still uncomfortable dining in, many restaurants are offering gift certificates online.

“A lot of South Carolina, is built on these independent restaurants that we love so much.

"A lot of them do not have the cash reserves to withstand this amount of time with this little volume.

“The chain restaurants have the benefit of deeper pockets and more locations

“I’m crossing my fingers we’re going to start to see some positive changes come April, May, June of 2021.

"I’m confident that once a vaccine is found, we have pent up demand.”

 

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