It’s never been easy to operate a restaurant, and in recent years it’s been even harder.
In 2020, Covid restrictions ground the nation’s bustling restaurant industry to a halt. Since then, there have been significant signs of a rebound: Dining rooms have reopened and customers have returned to cafes, fine-dining establishments and fast food joints.
But there are fewer US restaurants today than in 2019. It’s not clear when —if ever — they’re coming back.
Last year, there were about 631,000 restaurants in the United States, according to data from Technomic, a restaurant research firm. That’s