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The Impact of COVID-19 on Restaurant and Hospitality Businesses

To say that COVID-19 brought chaos to the global economy is an understatement. 

Not all sectors are affected equally, but the hospitality industry seems to have taken the hardest hit, making its recovery long and uncertain.

Overall data

Revenue (over 50%) and job losses (38%) have become a serious problem. Even employees that managed to keep their job had their hours and wages reduced. 

Hotels are especially struggling. The occupancy rates in April hit a historic low of 24.5% (to put it into perspective, under 35% is considered unsustainable). As a result, numerous hotels had to close completely.

Those that remained are in need of a dramatic increase in occupancy soon.

This data from restaurant equipment is just from the past year of 2020. Since the epidemic isn’t over, it’s full impact remains to be seen.


With many restrictions still in place, it is difficult to make accurate plans for reopenings.

Over 50% of customers are not willing to return to restaurants and hotels, and around 17% of them will consider doing so only when a vaccine starts to circulate.

It puts the owners in a difficult situation. Since it takes a lot of time (up to a year) and money to make everything fully operational again, what happens when 80% of customers continue ordering delivery?

Future changes

Measures like masks and gloves are a start, but it’s not quite enough. Different aspects of how the business is conducted need to change as well. 

Mainly, further implementation of modern technology is key to the survival of the industry.

contactless payments and sensor-operated appliances are the most effective methods of providing a contact-free hotel and restaurant experience.

However, it is a big investment that most owners are not able to afford at this moment.

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