< back to guides

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Information for Bars and Restaurants

Free Download

The scale of the coronavirus crisis impact on bars and restaurants is hard to wrap your head around. So are all the opinions, options, and resources out there—for both individuals and businesses.

With an audience of bar and restaurant owners and managers in mind, we put together a collection of statistics, resources, and useful information to help understand and navigate the crisis.

Everything on this page is what we feel is the most important, most reputable, and most useful for bars and restaurants right now.

As a company, we have always served the hospitality industry, and now we stand with them. If you or anyone you know is in need, please stop by our bar and restaurant relief funds page first. 


The Scope of COVID-19’s Impact On the Hospitality Industry

2019 U.S. restaurant jobs: 15.6 million

Estimated job loss over next three months: up to 7 million

2019 projection for 2020 restaurant sales: $899 billion

Estimated revenue loss over next three months: $255 billion

Every dollar spent in a restaurant generates: $2 spent elsewhere in the economy

Broader economic impact of restaurant closures: $675 billion

Year-over-year U.S. seated diners at restaurants on the OpenTable network:

Date (2020) % Change Year-Over-Year
3/8 -2
3/9 -14
3/10 -18
3/11 -19
3/12 -28
3/13 -36
3/14 -42
3/15 -48
3/16 -56
3/17 -84
3/18 -91
3/19 -98
3/20 -99
3/21 -100
3/22 -100
3/23 -100
3/24 -100


Data collected from the National Restaurant Association and OpenTable.


Reputable Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

For the General Public

WHO COVID-19 home page

WHO COVID-19 advice for the public

Rolling CDC coronavirus updates

CDC print resources and fact sheets for COVID-19

COVID-19 resources and information by state

For Employers and Small Businesses

WHO workplace guidance

CDC interim guidance for businesses and employers

CDC guidance for disinfecting business and building facilities

CDC cleaning and disinfecting recommendations for US households with suspected/confirmed coronavirus presence

CDC environmental cleaning and disinfection recommendations for community facilities with suspected/confirmed coronavirus presence

CDC coronavirus mitigation strategies

EPA-approved disinfectants for use against coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)


Bar and Restaurant Assistance

Bar and Restaurant Relief Funds

A list of bar and restaurant relief funds, including loan and grant opportunities, for both businesses and individuals within the hospitality industry. If you know someone who needs help who may be hesitant to ask for it, you can even submit their information anonymously to some organizations.

How Customers Can Support Restaurants During the Coronavirus Crisis

Heading into dining rooms to support their favorite restaurants isn’t an option for a lot of customers right now. But they do have options. There are lots of things customers can do, right now, to support the ongoing health of impacted bars and restaurants. And as a business owner or manager, you should encourage customers and prospective customers to act on them.


How Bars and Restaurants Can Survive COVID-19

Steps Restaurants Can Take Right Now

Having shut down a dining room because of government mandate or a drop in demand, it can feel like the main economic engine of your business has shut off. And while that may be true, it doesn’t mean the whole operation has to stop dead in its tracks. This article covers steps restaurants can take right now to mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 process and possibly even thrive.

Rethinking Your Restaurant Concept in Response to Coronavirus

Here are some ideas for restaurants to pivot their core business strategy toward accommodating the realities of social distancing and the coronavirus crisis. They include embracing delivery and takeout, creating retail food opportunities, utilizing curbside pickup, and making prepared meals.

Can You Get Coronavirus from Food?

Being able to speak to your customers confidently about the risks associated with delivery and takeout is important. Whether through social media, an email list, or information included with physical takeout and delivery parcels, let your customers know there's no known transmission risk through food. And what you're doing to make sure your operation is observing the best hygiene and safety procedures possible.


Supporting Bar and Restaurant Staff

Downsizing and Restructuring Thoughtfully During Coronavirus

Nobody wants to let employees go or drastically reduce their hours. But many employers within the hospitality industry don’t have a choice right now. Cutting payroll is quickly becoming the last resort for bars and restaurants to stay operational. If you have to do it, here’s how to lessen the impact it’ll have on your staff.

How Out-of-Work Food Service Staff Can Replace Lost Wages

In line with the previous article, this one gets deeper into the options out-of-work, laid off, and furloughed food and bev employees should consider. The gig economy, a main focus of the post, is a particularly attractive lever that can be pulled for a quick installation into a fast, casual, and socially-distancing economy.


Which Restaurants Can Deliver Alcohol Now?

Local governments and regulating authorities across the country are thinking outside the box to provide some measure of relief to impacted bars and restaurants.

Here’s our running list of the cities and states that allow alcohol delivery (and takeout sales) because they’ve adjusted their liquor laws.

They are:

Atlanta

California

Colorado

Illinois

Maryland

Nebraska

New Hampshire

New York

Texas

Washington, D.C.

See the above, linked-to post for full details on each state’s program.


Stay Tuned and Stay Safe

We’ll keep this page updated as often as the important and relevant parts of it change. If none of these resources are of immediate use to you, share them with someone to whom they may be. 

While the picture the data paints is dire, the community it represents is one of the most resilient on the planet. With some strategic thinking, some help, and a lot of camaraderie (something in no short supply in food and bev), our industry will come out on the other side stronger than ever.