The U.S. restaurant industry is set to lose 7.4 million jobs, according to a report from consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. on Tuesday.
The study analyzed government data from the 12 states and Washington that have shut down dining places and bars due to coronavirus.
Many restaurant workers may defect to other industries, according to the study. “With no income, many of these workers will likely seek, and hopefully, find other employment in the interim, which could make them unavailable to come back,” said Andy Challenger, senior vice president at Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Some restaurant jobs may cease to exist after the coronavirus crisis ends, Challenger said.
Many chains including Dunkin’, Starbucks and McDonald’s are closing dining rooms and focusing on takeout, drive-thru and delivery to limit person-to-person contact. States across the U.S. have closed down restaurants and bars to prevent the spread of coronavirus that’s been declared a global pandemic with more than 180,000 cases worldwide.