Survey finds that restaurants and bars are still struggling to pay rent as New York City reopens

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A new survey found that paying rent continues to be a problem for a number of New York City’s restaurant, bar and club owners amid the coronavirus pandemic.

As outdoor dining enters its early stages and indoor dining postponed, the NYC Hospitality Alliance surveyed the owners and operators of 509 restaurants, bars and clubs. According to their findings, only one-fifth of those surveyed said that they have been able to pay their full rent in June. 

The report found that 36.1% of businesses surveyed were not able to pay rent at all in June, while 31.4% were able to pay some of their rent. Of those who were able to pay some of their rent, only 10% of businesses reported that they would be able to pay more than 50% of their rent – 55% expected to pay half the rent while 35% would pay less than half.

“Rent is putting enormous financial pressure on restaurants, bars and clubs after four near fatal months of economic disaster during which many have already shuttered for good,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. “Our small businesses urgently need support on rent, so government officials, landlords and banks need to work together to find a solution. Whether it is direct rent subsidies, deferring rent now and extending payments on the back end of leases, and other creative ideas, we are in the midst of a rent crisis and need action now. We’re eager to work with lawmakers and industry leaders on any tangible plans that provide immediate relief to struggling restaurants and nightlife venues across the city before it’s too late.”

The survey also found that roughly 73.5% of landlords did not waive rent payments for these establishments in June, and 60% of landlords also refused rent deferments. Of the 26.5% of landlords who did waive rent payments, only 18.9% of them waived 76-100% of owed rent.

Of the businesses surveyed, only 10% were able to renegotiate the terms of their leases.

For full survey results, visit thenycalliance.org.