Financial security of Rhode Island’s restaurant and dining industry at risk of being wiped out by Delta Variant

The following has been submitted and provided by the Rhode Island Hospitality Association

The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA), the National Restaurant Association and 50 other state restaurant association partners have sent a letter to the congressional leaders share. new results from the national survey on consumer confidence and urging a rapid replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (FRR). Rhode Island has more than 1,523 pending applications totaling more than $ 208,933,000 in stabilization funding that would be processed through the proposed $ 60 billion replenishment bills. The letter urges Congress to complete the RRF’s mission and provide sufficient funds to replenish the program and provide relief for still pending applications.

“There are thousands of small business owners in Rhode Island waiting to see if they will achieve the financial stability necessary to get through this new pandemic threat and into the future,” said RI Hospitality Association president / CEO. , Dale J. Venturini. “The rise of variants of the coronavirus like the delta threatens to push these restaurants to close their doors permanently. Our industry is in desperate need of RRF funding.

The National Restaurant Association survey found that nationwide, a majority of consumers have already changed their restaurant behavior, which is starting to put a lot of pressure on the restaurant industry. This faltering consumer confidence comes on top of restaurant labor costs at their highest level in a decade, rising food and supply prices, continued domestic capacity limits in 11 states and to the crushing of long-term debts for countless restaurateurs.

More specifically, the investigation revealed:

6 in 10 adults have changed their use of the restaurant due to the increase in the delta variant

  • 19% of adults have stopped going out to restaurants
  • 9% canceled their existing plans to eat out in recent weeks
  • 37% ordered takeout or delivery instead of going to a restaurant
  • 19% chose to sit outside rather than inside when going out to a restaurant

“For an industry that needs a packed house every night to make a profit, this is a dangerous trend,” said Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “These changes indicate a decline in consumer confidence, which will make it more difficult for most restaurateurs to maintain their fragile financial stability.”

Read the full letter here.

About the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA):

With over 800 restaurant and hospitality members in Rhode Island, the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) has been the voice of the state’s hospitality industry since 1982. For more information on the RIHA, please call (401) 223-1120, or write to: RI Hospitality Association, 94 Sabra Street, Cranston, RI, 02910, or visit

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Cecil N. Messick

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