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.