New research released today by hospitality service provider Silver Chef and research group InKind reveals just 52 per cent of restaurant owners believe they can survive the next three months.
If current COVID-19 restrictions stay in place confidence for survival will deteriorate as time progresses.
Just 67 per cent of surveyed owners think their businesses can see out another month under the current COVID-19 conditions.
Faith fades as time goes on, with 60 per cent saying they can survive another two months from today, and only 52 per cent for another three months.
These concerning figures are complemented by the finding that the majority of restaurant owners (75 per cent) believe that it will be longer than six months before business returns to pre-COVID-19 levels.
According to Silver Chef's research Australian restaurants and other hospitality businesses chose to fight on during the worst of restrictions.
Just three in 10 businesses completely closed during COVID-19, with 63 per cent still operating as either pickup and/or delivery.
Hot food (56 per cent) and beverages (43 per cent) are the key products being offered via takeaway and delivery, but close to a third chose to provide produce/deli items and cook it yourself meals as an option.
More than a third of hospitality businesses have been operating with less than 10 per cent of their usual teams, with 70 per cent of businesses have accessing JobKeeper to remain in operation.
There is hope on the horizon though as Australian states begin to allow restaurants and other hospitality businesses to reopen under customer number limitations.
These limitations are likely to be eased as the COVID-19 situation gets better.
Interestingly, both the South Australian and Victorian Premiers have noted recently that allowing hospitality businesses to reopen with just ten patrons is unrealistic from a financial point of view for most restaurants, bars and cafes.
This change in the landscape has been reflected by Silver Chef's research, with 71 per cent of businesses believing that innovation will be critical moving forward, with the hospitality industry as a whole needing to become more creative to entice customers to spend.
40 per cent of surveyed owners actually believe that their business will become more resilient in the future because of how COVID-19 has forced them to implement diversified revenue streams (e-commerce and takeaway being two key new streams) that were put in place during lockdowns.
Updated at 12:08pm AEST on 22 May 2020.
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