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86% of NE restaurant operators see decreased sales/staff in Oct.

Almost half predicted need for layoffs/shutdowns amid pandemic
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Posted at 7:56 AM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-17 08:56:23-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Across the county, spending at restaurants was down in October. In Nebraska, the majority of owners reported the same and many anticipated the need to layoff employees and shut down unless things changed or relief was given.

For October, according to the National Restaurant Association, 84% of Nebraska restaurant owners said their total sales were down when compared to October of 2019. Overall, owners saw a 31% drop in sales.

At the time of the survey, 86% of respondents expected “their sales to decrease from current levels during the next three months.” None of them foresaw an increase in sales.

While sales dropped, operating costs generally increased. Only 18% of respondents said they saw a drop in labor costs compared to pre-COVID times.

With lower profit margins and rising costs, many said they were considering options like closing their restaurant until conditions improved and called on “critical” government assistance for the survival of their businesses. Thirty-five percent believed their businesses would close within six months if no aid was given.

In regards to staffing, 90% said fewer employees were on the clock and almost half reported operating with 20% fewer employees than normal.

Forty-seven percent of respondents expected a decline in personnel needs in the coming quarter.

Three percent expected growing staff needs.

You can read a full copy of the Nebraska survey results below:

You can read a full copy of the national survey results below:

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