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Restaurateurs With Cash Are Ready to Seize the Post-Covid Moment

Sought-after space is available for those who survived the industry’s brutal 2020.

In 2020, the 91,000 restaurants that closed were mainly small, family-owned establishments. While theses smaller restaurants couldn’t survive the pandemic, big chain restaurants thrive. 

In 2020, the 91,000 restaurants that closed were mainly small, family-owned establishments. While theses smaller restaurants couldn’t survive the pandemic, big chain restaurants thrive. 

Photographer: George Etheredge/Bloomberg

In 2020, a record number of U.S. restaurants closed their doors for good. In 2021, the industry’s survivors see an unprecedented opportunity.

Cash-strapped landlords are offering more concessions than ever to fill space, while the vaccine-led promise of a return to normal life — and a new round of government stimulus — is expected to unleash a wave of pent-up demand for dining out. That sets the stage for a spate of restaurant openings heading into next year.