CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Sweet Tomatoes, Metro Diner, and D'Apple Cafe are among the restaurants in Coral Springs that have closed since the start of the pandemic.

And more are likely to shut down, too, as volatility over COVID-19 has pushed the restaurant industry locally and across the nation to the brink, according to a new national survey.

Nearly 60 percent of restaurants that shut down since March 1 are now closed for good, the survey from Yelp said. Of the roughly 26,000 total restaurants that have closed in the last five months, 16,000 have been permanent.

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Yelp, the online platform that provides crowd-sourced reviews, found that while some industries have been able to slowly bounce back with fewer temporary closures, other industries, including food services, are still dealing with an increasing number of permanently closed businesses.

“The restaurant industry now reflects the highest total business closures, recently surpassing retail,” the report from Yelp.

The report noted that restaurants and other retail businesses shifted their operating models once the virus hit and started offering curbside pickup and online ordering – but those measures aren’t always enough to sustain their business long term. 

The Miami region ranked seventh out of the nation’s metropolitan areas with the most business closing, the report said. And Florida, as a whole, ranked fourth in states with the largest number of closings – 5,300 permanently closed and 3,300 temporarily closed.

According to the survey, there are plenty of industries withstanding the economic downturn:

- Professional services such as lawyers (840 closures) and accountants (294 closures) have experienced fewer closures.

- Online services including web design (402 closures) and graphic design (308 closures) are also doing well as many have shifted to remote work.

- And health services such as physicians (1,560 closures) and counseling and mental health services (342 closures) are also shutting down at lower rates – all offering critical services during this time. 


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