October 2020 Rent Report

By NYC Hospitality Alliance

Restaurant Rent Crisis Not Letting Up

NEW YORK, NY, November 12, 2020 – A new survey by the NYC Hospitality Alliance details a cold reality settling in over New York City’s restaurant industry, as 88 percent of respondents could not pay full rent in October, up from previous months’ reports and a signal that the sector’s crisis is far from over. 

According to more than 400 survey-takers representing restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues across the five boroughs, 30 percent of these small businesses could pay no rent at all during October; 59 percent of tenants’ landlords did not waive or reduce rent; and 83 percent of businesses have been unsuccessful in renegotiating their leases as a result of the pandemic.

As frigid winter temperatures approach New York’s untested outdoor dining setups, high financial costs and uncertainty about dining behaviors hang over restaurant owners who are otherwise reduced to serving customers at 25% capacity indoors, and due to an increase in statewide COVID-19 infections rates now have their operating hours further restricted.

This latest data portends a grim future for thousands of New York City small business owners. Restaurateurs who could not pay full rent in October are also likely to owe back rent for September, August, July and previous months. These business owners have amassed significant personal debts, which impacts their prospects of saving their businesses and starting new ventures in a post-pandemic New York.

“Going on eight months, more than 24,000 restaurants, bars and clubs citywide that are so critical to New York’s economic and social fabric have been in dire straits,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. “Half of the industry’s 300,000 employees are still without jobs, and those numbers can’t improve while more businesses are permanently closing and leaving empty storefronts in our neighborhoods. With many venues still closed, new restrictions further limiting the operating hours of those open, and cooler weather making outdoor dining less feasible, New York City’s hospitality industry simply cannot wait: The Restaurants Act and the Save Our Stages Act need to be immediately passed by the U.S. Senate and enacted by the President  without delay.”

For full survey results, a link to the results are available here and below. 

About the NYC Hospitality Alliance

The NYC Hospitality Alliance is a not-for-profit association representing restaurants and nightlife establishments in the five boroughs. The Alliance advocates on behalf of its members in the halls of government and in the media. We support pro-growth policies that support small business and reduce regulatory burdens. We offer restaurateurs and nightlife professionals information, education, consulting and events to help them grow, succeed and forge a strong and vibrant hospitality industry community.

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Oct. 2020

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