Date ArticleType
2/25/2021 9:25:30 PM Press Release

New Data Shows PA Hospitality Industry is Suffering More Than Most Restaurants Across the Country

New Data Shows PA Hospitality Industry is Suffering More Than Most Restaurants Across the Country
National Restaurant Association Survey Reports More Revenue Loss, Greater Layoffs and More Uncertainty in PA

Harrisburg, PA (February 24, 2021) In conjunction with the National Restaurant Association, the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association (PRLA) released data demonstrating the devasting financial impact COVID-19 mandates and government regulations have had on restaurants. Pennsylvania restaurants have endured some of the country's strictest mitigation standards and report more losses in revenue, greater layoffs, and an increased feeling of uncertainty than the hospitality industry as a whole. 

One of the most staggering statistics from the survey is that 60% of Pennsylvania business operators reported they have had to lay off or furlough employees in December or January compared to 29% of national operators during this same period.

The survey also shows that 93% of restaurant operators in Pennsylvania have reported a lower sales volume in January 2021 vs. January 2020, compared to the 77% of operators nationwide at the same time. Concurrently, while 18% of national restaurant operators anticipate a rise in sales throughout February and March, only 13% of Pennsylvania operators predict an increase in sales due to statewide mandates. Restrictions forced restaurants to focus on take-out. According to the survey, 80% of Pennsylvania operators stated that take-out or delivery made up less than 30% of their lost on-premise sales, compared to 65% nationally.  

Furthermore, the data shows that Pennsylvania restaurant owners are more pessimistic about the industry's future than their counterparts across the country. Specifically, 38% of Pennsylvania operators do not expect to return to normal business conditions for at least 7-12 months, compared to 32% nationally. Meanwhile, 14% of Pennsylvania respondents reported business conditions would never return to normal, in contrast with national data stating only 10% of those surveyed feel the same. Without additional federal relief packages, 20% of Pennsylvania operators predict that their establishments will almost definitely close within three months, while only 14% of national restaurant operators anticipated the same fate.

“These numbers are extremely eye-opening for us,” states PRLA President and CEO John Longstreet. “We knew that the added measures during the holidays from the Wolf administration would be devastating, but we weren’t expecting such a crushing blow. Unfortunately, we won’t see our numbers improve until the mitigation is loosened for our industry. It’s time to move Pennsylvania forward.”

Despite the shift in revenue, Pennsylvania remains in line with the national standard for philanthropic contributions, with 75% of restaurant operators saying their business has made charitable donations like cash, food, space, in-kind or volunteer efforts since the COVID-19 in March 2020. 

A more conclusive look at the NRA’s reports can be found here

About the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association
The PRLA strives to promote, protect, and improve the hospitality and tourism industries in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. PRLA conveys the unified voice of these industries to the Commonwealth’s citizenry and elected officials.
About the National Restaurant Association
The National Restaurant Association is a restaurant industry business association in the United States, representing more than 380,000 restaurant locations. It also operates the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. The association was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Washington, D.C.


Media Contacts

PRLA: Stephanie Otterson, (717) 963-8369 or [email protected]

Food Shelter PR: Mackenzie Maloney, (570) 299-9190 or [email protected]
Food Shelter PR: Lorraine Gimblett, (215) 254-6601 or [email protected]