Dear Mr. President, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader McConnell:
The National Restaurant Association represents one of the cornerstones of every community –
a restaurant that Americans call their own. From nationally-known chains, to favorite local
independents, to corner diners, we are an industry that is the first stop for individuals looking to
nourish themselves and their families. We are proud to be the country’s second-largest private
sector employer, and our commitment to bringing everyone together at our tables will never
The coronavirus poses unprecedented challenges to this country, and we applaud your
collective efforts to minimize its impact and keep the American people safe. You have taken
aggressive steps to promote our public health and provide needed benefits to our nation’s
workers. But as you can expect, as an industry that is based on welcoming everyone through
our doors, we are uniquely affected by mandates that keep us from serving our customers. We
are revising our business model to provide meals in different ways (takeout, delivery, safety-enhanced dine-in), but we are facing economic headwinds that will lead many restaurants to
shut down operations, lay off workers, and end our service in our communities.
Economically, we are anticipating sales to decline by $225 billion during the next three months,
which will prompt the loss of between five and seven million jobs. The restaurant industry is one
of low margins, tight cash flow, and a workforce that depends on us for their livelihood. Without
aggressive and immediate action from the federal government, many restaurants that are a
staple of local communities will simply never resume service.
We urge you to take critical steps to support America’s restaurant industry and the 15.6 million
workers we employ. Specifically, we urge you to enact the following proposals targeted at our
industry during this time of uncertainty:
Direct/Targeted Financial Relief
Loans/Insurance Options for Impacted Small Businesses
In the coming days, the Association will submit additional recommendations to address the
challenges confronting our restaurant owners and operators as this situation rapidly unfolds.
Thank you for your leadership. We look forward to working with you in the days ahead.
Executive Vice President, Public Affairs
cc: Honorable Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury
Honorable Chuck Schumer, Senate Democratic Leader
Honorable Kevin McCarthy, House Republican Leader