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87% of Michigan restaurants don't have enough employees to support demand, survey shows

Table dining restaurant eating inside food
Posted at 10:10 AM, Oct 04, 2021

(WXYZ) — The Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association broke down a recent nationwide restaurant operator survey to highlight state-specific results, reporting a slowdown to the hospitality industry comeback.

According to their data, operators in the state are reporting a deterioration of profitability from the past few months with 49 percent of operators saying their restaurant is less profitable now than it was three months ago. About 43 percent say business conditions for their restaurant are worse now than three months ago while data reveals 15 percent say business conditions have improved during the last three months.

MRLA reports that the Delta variant has also slowed the rebound with 58 percent of operators saying their restaurant has noticed a decline of indoor dining in recent weeks.

As far as a return to normal, the MRLA reports that 17 percent of operators this it will be 7 to 12 months before business conditions return to normal with 55% predicting it will be more than a year.

A majority of operators say their total food costs are higher than prior to the pandemic (90%) and labor costs are also up (83%).

In terms of staffing issues, 87 percent of Michigan operators say they do not have enough employees to support existing demand.

The National Restaurant Association compiled the survey, which included responses from 4,000 restaurant operators nationally; 131 Michigan operators were represented in the survey, which the MRLA broke out.

“As we approach Michigan’s fall and winter seasons and see consumer trends move away from in-person dining due to colder weather outdoors and concerns about the Delta variant, the recoil impact to the restaurant industry will be harsh, swift and very concerning,” said MRLA President & CEO Justin Winslow, in a press release. “Less than one in three operators are doing better than they were pre-pandemic with business conditions being worse now than they were three months ago. These trend lines tell us that we are moving away from a desperately-needed resurgence as we approach the winter season.”

Sept2021 ImpactSurvey MI Infographic by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

Full survey results:

Michigan Results by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd