Impact of COVID-19 on Restaurants

This video gives an overview of the Ahead of the Curve ® Series report, Closing Time: You Don’t Have to Go Home, but You Can’t Eat Here, which forecasts the consequence of restaurant closures due to COVID-19. We identify public companies that are poised to gain share, quantify the shift between independent restaurants and chains and offer 5 pieces of advice to restaurant CEOs in a world changed by COVID-19. Press play to learn more.


Today we published an Ahead of the Curve ® Series Report focused on the magnitude and ramifications of restaurant industry closures induced by COVID-19. We forecast 7.5% of cumulative industry closures in 2020-21, split -12.5% at independents and +0.4% at the Top 500 chains.

Independent and underperforming chain restaurant closures represent an estimated $39B of 2020-22 industry sales that are up for grabs. This should lead to a 700 bps change in industry market share from independents to the Top 500 chains from 2019-22.

We evaluate which publicly traded concepts are best positioned to gain share by our analysis of category fragmentation, urban vs suburban footprint and cash-on-cash returns. We highlight 5 pieces of advice to restaurant CEOs to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world centered on new store prototypes, ghost kitchens, third-party delivery, curbside pickup and sustainability.

Without Democrats significantly controlling Congress, the political environment makes small business relief more challenging for independent restaurants. We expect limited service, multi-unit concepts to capture the greatest share given the benefits of digital prowess, off-premise oriented operations and value vs. full service.

Based on a multi-sector report led by Andrew Charles, Cowen Restaurants Analyst.

Get the Full Report

If you’re already a member of our Research portal, log in.

Log In

If not, reach out to us directly for more information.

More Like This

Image of the federal reserve building in front of a water fountain meant to convey the passing of time before Fed Now is released next year.
Ahead of the Curve®

Federal Reserve Launching FedNow Instant Payments

Read More

Cowen 6th Annual Future of the Consumer Conference Highlights

Read More
Public cloud computing concept. Data nodes making up the cloud functioning publicly as interlocked above a cityscape at dusk.
Ahead of the Curve®

Public Cloud X Growth Accelerates Further

Read More