Iowa's restaurant industry shows resiliency through pandemic
Iowa's restaurants survived better than what was projected early in the pandemic, some initial reviews indicate.
Why it matters: Restaurants carry significant economic influence in our communities and help shape our cultural and personal connections.
By the numbers: The Iowa Restaurant Association last year estimated that 20%, roughly 1,000 restaurants, would permanently shutter because of the crisis.
- It's now projected to be closer to 750, Jessica Dunker, the group's president, told Axios.
- 626 full-service food establishments closed between March 1, 2020 and May 25, according to Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals data.
Yes, but: The actual loss is lower because the state tracks licenses by location.
- Restaurant's like Kathmandu that recently moved to a new place in Windsor Heights are among those on the list because its old spot closed.
The big picture: More than 110K eating and drinking establishments closed in the U.S. due to the pandemic, according to the National Restaurant Association.
The bottom line: State and federal assistance as well as some restaurant regulatory changes helped Iowa's eateries "hobble through," Dunker said.
- More than $34 million has been allocated through a state restaurant and bar relief grant.
- Plus: Relaxed liquor rules now allow restaurants to sell to-go mixed drinks.
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