It’s no secret that the restaurant and hospitality industry is in total freefall. Over 110,000 restaurants have already closed their doors, either for the long long-term or forever, across the United States. The lockdown mandates imposed in cities and states since March have led to massive drops in foot traffic to restaurants, both big and small.
In September, the National Restaurant Association revealed that 100,000 restaurants shut down, marking an additional 10% increase in restaurant closings since then. With little-to-no relief in sight, the restaurant is on the verge of total collapse. Estimates place around half a million restaurants being in economic freefall currently. Out of a total of 650,000 restaurants in the nation, that’s practically everyone.
Full-service restaurants have been the hardest hit. Labor costs compared to sales are rising astronomically, and the industry is practically begging for aid. However, it is difficult to say whether the kind of aid that is necessary is on the way. That is why 37% of restaurant operators are now saying they don’t expect to still be in business half a year from now.
The outlook sure looks bleak, but it’s not in a total death knell. There are opportunities for those who are determined to thrive in a post-COVID world, as well as those who can reinvent their businesses. That is what restaurant owner George Aboujaoude is doing. Diversifying when times get tough is what he is looking into right now, as well as revamping his business model.
George has recently gotten his hands on an incredible deal in the heart of Boston, where he will be opening a new venture. While he can’t disclose the name just yet, he is very excited about the long-term vision he is planting down right now. With landlords offering great deals on commercial space leases right now, George is one restaurant owner who is taking advantage of the silver lining that exists amid all of the turbulence.
The near future is going to be a challenging one, but people like George have a long-term vision that can withstand some short-term difficulties. Within the next year, there are going to be far fewer restaurants, which perhaps isn’t a bad thing. The industry has been saturated for a long time now, and the ones that survive will likely see their revenue climb due to less competition. Restaurant owners like George stand to gain a great deal by revamping their business models.
There is a lot of chaos and confusion happening right now in the restaurant and hospitality industry. However, the rewards go to those who brave through it all, are determined to succeed, and have a flexible vision that doesn’t involve putting all of their eggs in one basket. As someone who’s been in the industry from a young age, he has learned quite a lot about adapting and pivoting. He continues to do that to this day, and is likely to succeed because of it.