81% of Oregon’s restaurant workers out of work during pandemic, survey finds – KGW.com

Restaurant News

PORTLAND, Ore. — After nearly 18 years of serving hungry customers, Noble Rot Wine Bar & Restaurant is closed. It has been for weeks now.

“We’re just treading water until we can reopen again,” said co-owner Kimberly Bernosky.

The restaurant sold off much of its expansive wine inventory to pay for its employees health insurance. But it was enough to cover only one month of payments

“I didn’t want see them go without having health insurance,” said Bernosky. “We have 20 employees and we’ve had to lay them all off.”

But Bernosky knows she is by no means alone in her struggle.

According to the latest count by the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, 94% of Oregon restaurants have either laid off or furloughed employees since the coronavirus pandemic began.

About 127,000 people, that’s 81% of Oregon restaurant employees, are now out of work.

Four percent of restaurants have already permanently closed and another six percent are expected to close in the next month 

And on average, sales in the first 10 days of April decreased by 83%. By the end of the month, Oregon’s restaurant industry is estimated to lose $710 million in sales.

81% of Oregon restaurant workers out of work

“It’s been absolutely catastrophic,” ORLA president Jason Brandt. “It’s our job to find a way to get these people back to work.”

To do that, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association has drawn up a list of proposed relief efforts for the governor and the legislature to act on. The efforts include, among other things, providing restaurants with business interruption insurance that actually covers pandemics. You ‘ll find the entire list on the organization’s website. 

RELATED: 36,700 Oregonians filed for unemployment benefits last week

RELATED: KGW Q&A | Who’s hiring?

Source: Thanks https://www.kgw.com/article/money/business/more-than-120-thousand-restaurant-employees-in-oregon-are-out-of-work-now-the-industry-is-calling-on-elected-leaders-to-help/283-9739414b-cbb1-4e43-893c-198c8f26c1f1