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Food and Hospitality Businesses Seeing Disproportionate Impact From Delta Variant Amid Other Challenges

  • Goldman Sachs poll finds that hospitality and food services businesses have greater economic concerns when compared with other companies
  • Businesses in the sector had elevated uneasiness about COVID-19, higher prices, and labor shortages
  • 84 percent said they are worried about the potential impact of a new wave of COVID-19 cases

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Restaurants, food services companies, and hospitality companies are continuing to face major economic challenges as the fourth quarter of 2021 approaches, according to a recent survey from Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Business Voices program.

The survey collected responses from 1,145 businesses, including 117 in the hospitality and food services sector. The poll found that businesses in this sector had greater concerns about COVID-19, labor shortages, and higher prices.

  • 84 percent of hospitality and food services respondents said they are concerned about the impact of the new wave of COVID-19 cases, compared to 75 percent overall
  • While 64 percent of respondents overall said they are facing workforce challenges, the share stood at 79 percent among hospitality and food services respondents
  • 93 percent of hospitality and food services respondents said their costs have increased since June, and almost 40 percent said they expect they’ll need to take out a loan or a line of credit before the end of the year (compared to 29 percent among overall respondents)
  • Hospitality and food services businesses were leading the creation of new jobs earlier this year, but this trend saw an abrupt reversal in August as the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant caused a sharp increase in infections and renewed consumer concerns about the virus
  • Restaurants are pushing for additional funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was only able to support a portion of the businesses requesting aid

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