With the Delta Variant Jeopardizing Restaurants’ Recovery, the Texas Restaurant Association Urges Congress to Finish its Mission and Replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund

Aug 24

Austin, TX – Today, the Texas Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association, and 50 other state restaurant association partners sent a letter to Congressional leadership sharing new and alarming consumer confidence survey findings. If these trends hold, Texas will see more restaurants close their doors, unable to carry on while they also battle historic food and operating costs, a crippling labor shortage, and a stressful operating environment. Now more than ever, it’s critical that Congress replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), so every restaurant receives the grant to which they are eligible.

The National Restaurant Association survey found that the Delta variant is undermining consumer confidence at a time when restaurants need every revenue dollar to recover from the pandemic.

Specifically, the national survey found:

  • 6 in 10 adults changed their restaurant use due to the rise in the delta variant;
  • 19% of adults have stopped going out to restaurants; and
  • 37% have ordered takeout or delivery instead of going out to a restaurant.

“Restaurants have battled tirelessly over the past 18 months to keep their doors open and their employees on payroll, all while going above and beyond to keep their communities safe,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President & CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “The RRF was full of promise to help small and independent restaurants who — through no fault of their own — saw years of hard work and savings disappear because of the pandemic. Unfortunately, the program was underfunded, leaving nearly two-thirds of eligible restaurants in the dark. Now that the Delta variant is threatening the hard-fought recovery we have built, it’s critically important that Congress finish the RRF’s mission and fund every eligible grant. Without this vital relief, Texas will lose more of the local restaurants that we all know and love.”

Texas has the third largest RRF unmet need in the country. Of the $4,485,314,000 dollars requested, restaurants in the state have only received $1,674,865,000.

“For an industry that requires a ‘full house’ every evening to make a profit, this is a dangerous trend,” said Sean Kennedy, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “These changes indicate declining consumer confidence that will make it more difficult for most restaurant owners to maintain their delicate financial stability.”

Read the full letter sent to Congress here.

About the Texas Restaurant Association
The Texas Restaurant Association was formed in 1937 to serve as the advocate in Texas and the indispensable resource for the foodservice industry. Today, as a leading business association, TRA represents the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which is comprised of more than 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the Association protects, advances, and educates the growing industry.


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