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Dining in a pandemic | One year later

How do you measure a year? For a restaurant, it might be sales, the number of guests served, locations opened or people employed. But this year was different. For many restaurants, the past 12 months have been measured by one, simple metric: survival. The COVID-19 pandemic that hit the U.S. last March rocked the industry, forcing thousands of restaurants to close and an untold number of others to completely upend their operations. As restaurants begin to reemerge, one year since it all began, Restaurant Business takes stock of the massive changes the virus has brought.







THE COVID PANDEMIC IN 7 CHARTS:
A look at data from the past year as the quarantine led to broad shutdowns of indoor restaurant service. While the industry is recovering, it has a long way to go.


DIG IN TO THE DATA

Restaurant Sales

The industry has likely lost some $200 billion in sales due to the pandemic, having fallen to the lowest monthly rate in nearly two decades in April. Sales have recovered in the subsequent months but that recovery has stalled—even after improving for the first time in three months in January, sales still remain some 17% below where they were a year ago and likely more like 25% below where sales should be.





FULL-SERVICE RESTAURANTS PUSH THE LIMITS OF ‘FULL’ AND ‘SERVICE’:
After trying life with darkened dining rooms, table-service operators are venturing far afield from their traditional turf.


HOW TABLE SERVICE CHANGED


Timeline: How the pandemic unfolded

Over the past year, Restaurant Business published more than 1,000 stories related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's a look back at the biggest developments.
Hover over each image for more and click to go to the article