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39% of restaurants couldn't pay their June rents, survey finds

They were frustrated in part by an inability to restaff as dining room reopenings presented a shot at better revenues.
Photograph: Shutterstock

About 2 of every 5 restaurants in the United States were unable to pay their full rents for June on time, with operators thwarted in part by their inability to restaff as dining rooms fully reopened, according to a new survey.

The latest monthly canvass by Alignable, an online network of small businesses, found that 39% of operators lacked the revenues to pay their landlords, compared with the 37% of all small businesses that came up short.

Alignable’s survey of restaurateurs found the percentage of restaurants that had to hold off their landlords fell 10 points from the level for May. “That’s not as bad as last month’s figure of 49%, but it’s still significant,” the company said of June’s measure.

Other data compiled by the network administrator indicate that landlords would have collected more checks from restaurant tenants if labor wasn’t in such tight supply. “Many owners tell us they can’t reach their revenue goals without the proper staff to handle an expected influx of customers,” Alignable said in its June report.

It explains that dining room capacities and guest traffic increased faster than the industry could rehire workers to handle the surge, forcing them to forgo much-needed business.

In a separate poll, Alignable found that 71% of operators support the decision by 25 states to forgo the extra $300 a week that the federal government offers for unemployment-benefit recipients. Many in the industry say the sweetened payouts are a disincentive for the unemployed to take a restaurant job because their incomes might decline.

Alignable also found via its survey that minority-owned small businesses had a tougher time than the small business community as a whole in meeting June rent obligations.

Only 35% of  enterprises owned by white mainstream entrepreneurs couldn’t pay their rent in full, compared to 53% of minority-run operations.

The data was generated through a survey of 3,814 small businesses. Alignable says that 6.5 million small businesses across North America are members of its online network.

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