The global COVID-19 pandemic has been hard in so many ways, but the toll it hass taken on businesses has been devastating. Without money coming in, there's a large number of them that will likely never fully recover, and many of those will probably end up closing. From shops and stores to markets and museums, everybody is hurting. But the industry that seems hit harder than any other is food services.
A lot of restaurants barely scrape by even when fully operational. And while some have reopened for takeout or have partially opened their dining rooms, that's not enough to keep them operating for much longer... if they haven't had to close already.
I'm not a huge restaurant person (it's an expense I can rarely justify), but I've visited more than my share of Hard Rock Cafes. So measuring the effect of the pandemic on restaurants is fairly easy for me to do when I look at the number of Hard Rocks that have closed since the coronavirus came calling...
UPDATE August 6, 2020: Well crap, Aruba just shuttered. I visted in March, 2012, and always hoped to go back one day so I could get a T-shirt since they were out when I was there. BOOOOOO!
Hard Rocks open and close all the time... but that's like... a lot. And, sadly, I'm sure that's not going to be the end of it.
If we ever see the other side of this pandemic, meaning we get a vaccine or find a cure or something, I have to wonder how long it will take for our restaurants to start coming back. And this is assuming that once we see the other side of this pandemic that we aren't hit with another soon after. For all we know, that could be life on earth from here on out. All we can hope for if that's the case is that governments are more receptive to the science of surviving... and people aren't a bunch of stupid assholes who refuse to do their part.
But I'd be fooling myself to think that's never going to be a factor.