More than one in six US restaurants has closed or gone out of business this year, as public dining became a deadly health risk to both workers and patrons. 500 restaurants closed in New York City alone. The National Restaurant Association cites an average sales decline of 36% due to mandated COVID shutdowns. Without adequate financial support from the government, more will shutter as cases surge and restaurants are forced to close indoor and outdoor dining. 

The Paycheck Protection Program helped some restaurants stay open earlier in the pandemic, but that funding has since dried up and another stimulus bill remains to be seen. Restaurants are turning to takeout, but it's not keeping business afloat, as delivery apps take as much as a 30% cut on orders. The chains that have been able to survive tend to be the ones whose business models already heavily incorporated takeout and delivery.

Papa John's, for example, has increased its job listings by 72% month-over-month, currently at 100 openings. Over the last few months, the company has been hiring mainly in its restaurant management, food production, distribution, and transportation departments. 

Corner Bakery — which counts many locations in states with looser pandemic safety restrictions like Texas and Illinois — has increased its job listings by 30% MoM, from just three openings in July to 157 positions at the time of writing.

Del Taco and Whataburger have each seen job listings go up by 16% MoM.

Of course, the success of these chains can be chalked up to their size. Eateries like, say, Sweetgreen, don't need PPP loans in the same way that small businesses need aid. Until financial support is fairly distributed, or the vaccine kills the virus, there will be more dying restaurants, while giant chains grow.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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