Jan. 31, 2022

National Restaurant Association Makes Push to Replenish RRF

A new survey from the National Restaurant Association shows that most restaurants have seen a downturn in business since the emergence of the omicron variant of COVID-19, making the need to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) more vital than ever.

The association is asking supporters to reach out to elected officials to urge them to allocate more funding for the RRF. The timing is critical, the National Restaurant Association notes, because it is likely Congress will only pass one large spending bill this year and it is expected that bill will be voted on between the expiration of current government spending on Feb. 18 and President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.

The association has been working to educate Congress about the need for more RRF funding. Its most recent survey found that:

  • 88 percent of restaurants experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor, on-premise dining because of omicron
  • 76 percent of operators said business conditions are worse now than three months ago
  • 74 percent of operators are less profitable than before the pandemic
  • 96 percent said receiving an RRF grant would make it more likely that they would be able to stay in business
  • 92 percent said an RRF grant helped them pay expenses or debt that had accumulated during the pandemic
  • Nearly 50 percent of restaurant operators that did not receive RRF grants feel it is unlikely they will stay in business beyond the pandemic without a grant
  • 94 percent of operators waiting for an RRF grant say the program would enable them to retain or hire back employees