Association Estimates 40% of County Restaurants Could Permanently Close

Since the pandemic began, Maryland’s restaurants and food service industry has lost $1.4 billion in sales. About 150,000 employees have been laid off or furloughed, according to the Restaurant Association of Maryland.

MyMCMedia spoke with Marshall Weston, president and CEO of the Restaurant Association of Maryland, about the possibility that 40% (about 700) of Montgomery County’s 1,840 restaurants could permanently close due to the pandemic.

Gov. Larry Hogan’s ruling that restaurants and bars must shut down indoor service by 10 p.m. only exacerabated the situation, said Weston, who urged those who aren’t visiting family for Thanksgiving to support local restaurants and buy prepared meals at neighborhood for the holiday.

Jane Redicker, president and CEO of the Greater Silver Spring Chamber of Commerce, said that three of her organization’s 30 restaurant owners have gone out of business. Of the others, she said, “A lot of them are hanging on.”

The restaurants doing the best are the ones that have outdoor accomodations and take out, she said. There is increasing concern with the cold weather coming and some restaurants unable to purchase outdoor heaters, because they are so in demand, she said.

“It’s just so tragic.”

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