New MI Data Says One-Third of All Michigan Restaurants Risk Closing in Six Months Without Help

Christmas time is supposed to be filled with goodness and light, but new data released today by the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) is anything but holly or jolly, projecting substantial devastation to the industry if help isn’t on the horizon soon.

The hospitality industry’s new research tracks the economic impact of COVID-19 on virtually every sector of that industry throughout the state. The data is localized to Michigan based upon surveys conducted in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). The data reveal an industry “in turmoil and on the brink of irreconcilable damage.”

Justin Winslow, President & CEO of the MRLA, says, “The data is settled. It is fundamentally clear that the pandemic is decimating the hospitality industry in this state to a degree never seen or even imagined. While it will take several years and a stable economy to reclaim the size, impact and opportunities produced by this industry, we have not yet reached the bottom.”

Winslow warns, “As the legislative calendar draws to a close, there are several thousand operators and a few hundred thousand employees in Michigan urgently hoping that the holiday spirit consumes our elected leaders in Washington D.C. and Lansing to pass a meaningful stimulus package for those most in need this holiday season.”

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Significant survey results include the following:

  • 5,600, or 33-percent, of Michigan restaurant operators say it is unlikely they will still be in business in six months…
  • Two-thirds of hotels (approximately 850 in Michigan) report they will only be able to last six more months at current revenue and occupancy levels without any additional relief…
  • 52-percent of hotel owners said they are in danger of foreclosure…
  • 89-percent of Michigan restaurant operators expect their sales to decrease during the next three months and 63-percent expect their staffing levels to decrease over the same period…
  • 48-percent of Michigan restaurant operators say they are considering temporarily closing their restaurant until the COVID-19 pandemic passes…
  • 90-percent of Michigan operators say their profit margin is lower than it was prior to the COVID-19 outbreak…
  • 63-percent of hotels have less than half of their typical staff working full time…

The restaurant survey data was gathered by the MRLA in conjunction with the NRA from November 16th until November 30th with a total of 6,000 respondents nationally, including 175 from Michigan. The hotel industry survey data was collected nationally by AHLA November 10th through 13th with more than 1,200 respondents, including many from Michigan.

The Michigan numbers from the National Restaurant Association can be found at the link below:

NatlRestaurantsMIDec2020

The American Hotel & Lodging Association data can be found at the link below:

AHLA-Front-Desk-Feedback-Survey-Results-11.18.20

Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association (MRLA) is the recognized leader of Michigan’s hospitality industry, providing essential services to the foodservice and lodging community. Founded in 1921 as the Michigan Restaurant Association and now known as the MRLA, the Association represents over 5,000 Michigan foodservice and lodging establishments. The industry plays an integral role in Michigan’s economy, employing more than 595,000 people and creating nearly $40 billion in annual sales. For more information, you can visit http://www.mrla.org