The restaurant industry recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is underway.
New data shows the industry brought back 1.37 million workers last month, and consumers are eating out again.
More restaurants, and particularly large chain restaurants, have seen a resurgence in sales in recent weeks.
However, Restaurant Business Online reports the industry remains far below employment levels from before the coronavirus pandemic, suggesting that it could be years before the number of workers lost over that six-week period are fully regained.
The restaurant industry employed 7.6 million workers in May, up 22% from April’s decades-long low of 6.3 million.
It is still 37% below February levels, or about 4.4 million employees.
The Independent Restaurant Coalition told the publication, “Congress needs to pass a relief package specifically designed to protect our industry,” noting that restaurant workers continue to make up the largest share of jobless Americans.
Many restaurants were forced to close when the pandemic began.