The spending at smaller restaurants is about 20 percent behind the bigger companies, according to BoA’s data.
Gregory Francfort and JonMichael Shekian, BoA analysts, looked at transaction data from BoA credit and debit card holders to see how people were spending at restaurants. They found that the spending at big chains was down 4 percent from a year ago, while smaller independent establishments were down 25 percent on average, CNBC reported.
The discrepancy comes from the inherent differences in the two types of establishments. Large chains tend to range from full service to fast food, while the smaller indie venues more often veer to fast-casual and casual dining. As the shutdowns mandated that dine-in services end, the smaller establishments were hit harder as they lost the primary way they were used to making money.
Trade groups have had dire premonitions about the future of independent restaurants, with a report from the Independent Restaurant Coalition finding that around 85 percent of smaller establishments could close for good by the end of 2020, CNBC reported. The coalition is pushing for a $120 billion bailout fund for those restaurants.
The recent spikes in coronavirus activity in many parts of the U.S. has dealt yet another blow to the already-struggling restaurant industry, making it “quite evident in our industry checks that COVID-19 spikes in key states in the West and Southeast have weighed on industry sales since the third week of June,” according to Francfort and Shekian.
Restaurants have had to innovate in the last few months with the pandemic shutting down most of their normal operations. Implementing strategic headgear to enforce social distancing and spreading out dining tables in innovative ways have all been used to help customers ease back in to eating out.