SD restaurants fighting for survival
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit South Dakota restaurants harder than just about any other industry in the state.
Six months into the pandemic, with the state economy mostly open for business, restaurants across the state are still struggling to make ends meet and keep their doors open as patrons and employees worry about spreading the potentially deadly coronavirus.
Since the pandemic began, nearly half of South Dakota’s restaurants experienced at least a temporary closure — often for as long as six weeks — and more than two-thirds laid off employees. Due to COVID-19, South Dakota restaurants have missed out on as much as $90 million in revenue, according to the National Restaurant Association, forcing some to close for good.
In all, South Dakota’s restaurant industry is likely to shrink between 5% and 10% before the COVID-19 pandemic runs its course.
About 75% of South Dakota’s restaurants laid off some staff, resulting in some 18,600 people losing their jobs and winding up on unemployment, according to the association. Some restaurants have closed, others are hanging on, and some have found new revenue streams such as take-out, delivery and seeking out new customers.