Dear Speaker Pelosi and Leaders McConnell, McCarthy, and Schumer:
Exactly six months ago, restaurants across the country were directed by local governments to
shut down indoor dining. Four days later the National Restaurant Association offered input to
federal policymakers on how to support the nation’s second-largest private sector employer.
Today, we would like to update you on the state of our industry, and on behalf of both our
members and our workforce, plead for bipartisan action before you recess for the November
In conjunction with our State Restaurant Association partners, we have conducted a detailed
assessment of restaurant owners across the country representing every segment of the industry
– from franchise operators to independent owners. The findings are startling. We estimate that
at least 100,000 restaurants are closed – nearly one in six. Three million restaurant employees
are without a job, and the industry remains on track to lose $240 billion in sales by the end of
the year. Perhaps most alarmingly, forty percent of owners surveyed say they are likely to close
within six months absent government support.
Federal support to date has focused on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), providing
eight weeks of assistance for an industry that has been wrecked for six months. We submitted
to Congress a comprehensive “Blueprint for Restaurant Revival” in July, but despite this effort, a
larger solution for the industry seems unlikely to be passed this year.
This month marks a critical inflection point for the restaurant industry. Outdoor dining will soon
be impractical for many owners, and without immediate steps from Congress, thousands of
restaurants may close before you reconvene after the November elections. There are shortterm,
basic solutions with bipartisan support that have already been approved by one chamber
of Congress. Specifically, we urge you to pass the following proposals this month:
your hearts – from revered local independents to popular regional chains to the favorite corner
diner. These closures occurred during spring and summer months when people longed to enjoy
a meal out. As fall and winter approach, restaurants that are still open will face even greater
challenges as customer traffic declines. We simply cannot wait for the perfect solution from
Congress – particularly in the final month before you return to your home states. The time for
action – in any form – is now.
Thank you for your leadership. We look forward to working with you for short-term solutions in
the days ahead, and on long-term actions beyond that.
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs