June 26, 2020

Restaurants struggling to rebound from pandemic setbacks

The industry typically generates $13 billion annually in Arizona.

With Arizona’s unemployment rate nearing 13%, restaurants are one of the state’s hardest-hit industries during the pandemic. We learned more about the economic impact from Steve Chucri, president of the Arizona Restaurant Association and a Maricopa County supervisor.

“What we saw is Arizona restaurants losing roughly $29 million a day during the peak of this virus. The month of April we lost $815 million. And keep in mind, annually, we’re almost a $14 billion industry,” Chucri said.

Chucri said restaurants employ more than 230,000 people in Arizona and between 75-80% were laid off or furloughed at some point during the pandemic. He praised restaurants that have been able to innovate during the pandemic and remain open.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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