Survey: CT restaurants continue to suffer from impact of COVID pandemic


Conn. (WTNH) — The economy in Connecticut may be working its way back, but the state’s restaurant owners are still being adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s according to a new survey of restaurant owners.

The survey compares 2021 numbers with pre-pandemic numbers of 2019.

Survey Findings:

  • Delta variant reduced indoor dining at 88% of the state’s restaurants.
  • 90% of restaurant owners are paying more for food
  • 91% of restaurant owners have smaller profit margains
  • 78% of restaurants are understaffed.

“When you don’t have the workers, you maybe aren’t open the hours you would be, maybe don’t have as many tables to service,” said Scott Dolch, the executive director of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. “Your sales are down, and then you have food costs that are anywhere between 20 and 35, 40 percent. You’re talking about chicken wings or seafood, you’re talking three or four times their going price they were in 2019. That’s the real reality.”

Dolch told News 8 he’s trying to be creative to help the restaurants. He has reached out to the governor’s office to see if any of the state’s Afghan refugees might be seeking employment at state restaurants.

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