Number of the Day

How Restaurants Got Crushed By Covid, By the Numbers

Many restaurants that closed down temporarily are now gone forever

Number of the Day: 15,770 Restaurants
Photo: nico_blue/E+/Getty Images

15,770: That’s how many restaurants listed on business review platform Yelp have permanently closed since March 1. That accounts for 60% of the 26,160 total closures of restaurants on the platform. Plus, 44% of the 5,454 closed bars and nightclubs listed on Yelp have permanently shut as well.

Yelp appears to be one of the only available sources of data on restaurant closures caused by the pandemic. Eater NY reported last week that while it has documented at least 150 permanent closures in New York City since March, the actual number of bars and restaurants forced out of business in the city may be closer to 1,000. Nobody really knows the precise number because, curiously, there is no official city or state organization tracking these closures in real time.

The balmy summer weather in cities like New York has given bars and restaurants a bit of breathing room, as many have set up makeshift dining spaces on sidewalks and streets. Still, this is at best a temporary reprieve, as the weather will cool well before we have a vaccine.

There are only three certainties in life: death, taxes, and the inevitability of ghost kitchens.

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