The impact of the coronavirus pandemic and such extreme business interruption for restaurants can’t be underestimated. We also probably won’t know the full brunt of it for a while, says Lisa Boudreaux-LeCoq, president of the Louisiana Restaurant Association’s Greater Baton Rouge Chapter.
By March 25, the National Restaurant Association reported that 3% of operators nationwide had already permanently closed as a result of the pandemic, and another 11% believed they would close by the end of April.
While some closures seem unavoidable (White Star Market reported closing permanently at the end of March), Boudreaux-LeCoq is hoping the vast majority of local operators can ride out the storm. “Restaurants and bars are the lifeblood of our community,” she says. “It’s where we get together, enjoy a meal and connect. Especially in a place like Baton Rouge, it’s where a lot of our experiences are centered.”
While life may never quite be the same, Boudreaux-LeCoq predicts an enthusiastic return to events and gatherings once we get on the other side of social distancing and stay-at-home orders.