The Omicron variant hit the restaurant industry hard; Rebuilding RRF forecast to save more than 45,000 New Jersey jobs


The Omicron variant hit the restaurant industry hard; Rebuilding RRF forecast to save more than 45,000 New Jersey jobs

New National Restaurant Association survey shows 30,000 jobs saved with first round of RRF funding


Trenton, New Jersey (January 24, 2022) – The New Jersey Restaurant & Hospitality Association today released new survey data highlighting the devastating impact of the omicron variant so far and the positive impact that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) had on the New Jersey industry. According to analysis by the National Restaurant Association, the first round of RRF funding saved more than 30,000 jobs in New Jersey and helped 100% of grant recipients stay in business.

In addition, the investigation revealed:

  • Nearly 60% of restaurateurs who have done so not receive RRF grants feel they are unlikely to remain in business beyond the pandemic without a grant.
  • 100% of restaurateurs who applied for a FRR subsidy, but did so not receive funding, said a future grant would allow them to retain or rehire employees.

“This shows just how much of an impact replenishing the RRF would have. Estimates from the National Restaurant Association indicate that fully replenishing the RRF will save an additional 45,000 restaurant jobs,” said Dana Lancellotti, President and CEO of the direction of the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association.”The RRF has been a critical lifeline for many, but many more are still desperate for support amid continued economic uncertainty. The decisions Congress will make in the coming weeks will be critical to the future of our restaurant industry in New Jersey.”

The restaurant industry has again been hit hard by the latest wave of COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant. Forced to adapt to deteriorating consumer confidence, restaurants have reduced opening hours/days, reduced seating and closed, turning to off-premises catering, the end result being volumes of lower sales in 2021 compared to 2019.

According to the survey, we know:

  • 93% of restaurants experienced a drop in customer demand for on-site indoor dining due to the omicron variant.
  • 80% of operators report that trading conditions are worse today than three months ago.
  • 70% say their restaurant is less profitable now than it was before the pandemic.

The New Jersey findings were provided by the National Restaurant Association Research Group, which conducted a restaurant COVID-19 impact survey of 4,200 restaurant owners from January 16-18, 2022. Read the New Jersey’s key findings report Jersey here.

New Jersey Covid RRF Data


About the New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association
The New Jersey Restaurant and Hospitality Association (NJRHA) was founded in 1942 to support, educate and advocate for the hospitality industry throughout the state. Representing more than 25,000 food service establishments and 350,000 employees, the NJRHA is the state’s largest private sector employer and generates $18.1 billion in tax revenue for the state. Visit

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading trade association for the restaurant industry, comprising 1 million food and beverage outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, DC, and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the largest trade show in the industry (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique high school career development program (ProStart from NRAEF). For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and Youtube.

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