Wis. restaurants don’t expect business to return to normal for awhile, survey finds

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 5:51 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Most Wisconsin restaurant operators don’t expect business conditions to return to normal anytime soon, according to a new survey released Thursday.

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association stated that seven in 10 restaurants think it will take over a year before things go back to normal. Fifteen percent think it will take between 7-12 months, while 11% say business conditions will never go back to normal for their establishment.

An overwhelming majority of Wisconsin restaurants surveyed also said they were facing a worker shortage, even though they have added back many jobs lost during the pandemic. Around 93% say they don’t have enough employees to support their existing customer demand.

These restaurants also note the surge in COVID-19 cases, fueled by the Delta variant, have negatively affected their business. Nearly seven in ten restaurants surveyed say customer demand has declined for indoor dining over the recent weeks, as a result of COVID-19.

Restaurants say their profits are improving compared to early months of the pandemic, but are still far from what they were prior. Just over half stated their total sales volume in August of 2021 was higher than in August of 2020.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 4,000 restaurants from across the country from Sept. 7-15.

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