PITTSBURGH — The hospitality industry has been rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic with restaurants and bars seeing some of the most drastic effects to date. It’s an industry that’s faced mandated shut down orders, customer capacity limits for indoor consumption of food and drink as well as other restrictions that have been imposed since March by local and state health officials to try and curb the spread of the coronavirus.
As a result of the pandemic, employment in the food industry has taken a direct hit. The Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry found in its September employment report that the Pittsburgh metropolitan statistical area had 57,700 workers in the “food services and drinking places” subcategory of the leisure and hospitality sector, a decrease of 31,300 or 35% from the 89,000 workers who held these jobs during the same time period last year.
The Pittsburgh region saw 739 businesses close their doors between March 1 and July 10 according to Yelp’s Economic Average report for the second quarter of 2020. Restaurants made up the largest grouping of the reported businesses that closed permanently, Yelp found.
Pittsburgh Business Times