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COVID delta variant reversing recovery in restaurant industry, survey says
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A majority of restaurant operators claim business conditions are worse today than they were three months ago due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, according to a National Restaurant Association survey.
About 80% of operators say they have seen a decline in customer demand, specifically for indoor and on-premises dining, in recent weeks as a result of the variant, according to the survey of 4,000 operators.
However, even with declining demand, about 71% of operators say they still don't have enough staff to handle their current customers despite efforts to bring back many jobs that were lost due to the pandemic.
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Eateries are also facing rising operating costs all while profitability is still down.
Nearly all operators reported paying more for food and about 84% say they have higher labor costs. More than 60% are paying higher occupancy costs, according to the survey.