Numbers show Hoosier restaurants face dire financial future

Coronavirus

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana restaurants are expected to lose $920 million in sales this month alone.

Industry experts released several dire financial predictions.

They claim on average, Indiana restaurants have lost 77% of their sales compared to the same time last year.

That’s left many restaurants struggling to stay in business.

“You know, we’re still barely hanging on. Last month, to be honest, we barely made rent,” said Caisy Lun.

Caisy’s mother owns Taste Restaurant at Lucky Lou and admits the state-wide shutdown has devastated their sales.

“85 to 95 percent of our business has gone,” said Lun. “We’re really hanging on minute-by-minute.”

“Well obviously, there’s been a huge decline in customers,” said Ana Aljazzazy.

Ana’s family opened Taste of Dubai just six months ago, and despite still offering carryout and delivery, they’ve also lost nearly 50% of their business.

“We’re trying to stay positive, and try as hard as we can to keep it open,” said Aljazzazy.

“We have owners that are making long-term decisions here because they’re often facing professional and personal bankruptcy,” said Patrick Tamm with Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association.

Industry experts like Tamm add that uncertainty is one of the biggest challenges because no one yet knows when restaurants will be able to allow customers to sit down and eat inside.

“Overall, this is just a devastating event,” said Tamm.

At Lucky Lou, most of the servers have been laid off, and only a barebones staff remains.

The same is true statewide, where an estimated 83% of all restaurant workers, or close to 200 thousand people, have been laid off since February.

“You know, we hope that as long as it lasts, we can hang on the best we can. But right, now it’s learning how to survive minute-by-minute,” said Lun.

So far, nearly 2% of Indiana restaurants have closed permanently with another 4% facing the same possibility in the next 30 days.

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