Survey: 5,600 Restaurants/850 Hotels in Michigan May Close Due to COVID-19 Restrictions

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) in Lansing today released data on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry throughout the state.
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dining room closed stock photo
A survey by the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association shows 5,600 restaurants and 850 hotels could close in Michigan due to the COVID-19 pandemic. // Stock photo

The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association (MRLA) in Lansing today released data on the economic impact of COVID-19 on the hospitality industry throughout the state.

Based on surveys conducted in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, results revealed many restaurants and hotels will close without additional relief.

Data revealed that in the next six months, 5,600 Michigan restaurants (33 percent) are likely to close permanently, and approximately 850 hotels in Michigan (two-thirds) reported they will be able to last six more months at current revenue and occupancy levels without any additional relief.

“The data is settled,” says Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the MRLA. “It is fundamentally clear that the pandemic is decimating the hospitality industry in this state to a degree never seen or even imagined. While it will take several years and a stable economy to reclaim the size, impact, and opportunities produced by this industry, we have not yet reached the bottom.”

Other survey results include:

  • 52 percent of hotel owners said they are in danger of foreclosure.
  • 89 percent of Michigan restaurant operators expect their sales to decrease during the next three months, and 63 percent expect their staffing levels to decrease over the same period.
  • 48 percent of Michigan restaurant operators say they are considering temporarily closing their restaurant until the COVID-19 pandemic passes.
  • 90 percent of Michigan operators say their profit margin is lower than it was prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • 63 percent of hotels have less than half of their typical staff working full time.

“As the legislative calendar draws to a close, there are several thousand operators and a few hundred thousand employees in Michigan urgently hoping that the holiday spirit consumes our elected leaders in Washington D.C. and Lansing to pass a meaningful stimulus package for those most in need this holiday season,” says Winslow.

The restaurant survey data comes from the MRLA in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association from Nov. 16 through Nov. 30 with a total of 6,000 respondents nationally, including 175 from Michigan. The hotel industry survey data was collected by the American Hotel and Lodging Association from Nov. 10 through Nov. 13 with more than 1,200 respondents nationally, including many from Michigan.

The MRLA is a leader of Michigan’s hospitality industry and provides services to the foodservice and lodging community. It represents more than 5,000 Michigan foodservice and lodging establishments, and the industry employs more than 595,000 people and creating nearly $40 billion in annual sales. It was founded in 1921 as the Michigan Restaurant Association.

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