Delta Variant Threatens Louisiana Restaurant Industry Financial Security

METAIRIE — The Louisiana Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association and 50 other state restaurant association partners sent a letter to Congressional leadership sharing new national consumer confidence survey findings and urging swift replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Louisiana has more than 2,900 pending applications that total more than $600 million in stabilization funding that would be addressed by the $60 billion proposed replenishment bills.

The letter urges Congress to complete the mission of the RRF and provide adequate funds to replenish the program and offer relief for the applications still pending.

“There are thousands of Louisiana small business owners stuck in limbo waiting to find out if Congress will act to provide the stability they need to make it through this new pandemic threat and into the future,” said Stan Harris, LRA president and CEO, in a press release. “The rise of coronavirus variants like delta threaten to push these restaurants closer to permanently closing their doors. It’s time for Congress to step in and fulfill the promise of the RRF.”

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The National Restaurant Association survey found that nationally a majority of consumers have already changed their dining behavior, which is beginning to put acute pressure back on the restaurant industry. This faltering consumer confidence comes on top of restaurant labor costs at a 10-year high, increased food and supply prices, continued indoor capacity limits in 11 states, and crushing long-term debt loads for countless restaurant owners.

“For an industry that requires a ‘full house’ every evening to make a profit, this is a dangerous trend,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the NRA. “These changes indicate declining consumer confidence that will make it more difficult for most restaurant owners to maintain their delicate financial stability.”

Read the full letter here.

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