A new survey has revealed that 92 percent of New York City restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and event venues were unable to pay their full rent in December as COVID-19 restrictions continue to decimate the industry in the Big Apple.
According to research published by the New York City Hospitality Alliance on Tuesday, the number of businesses unable to pay rent has climbed steadily over the last few months from 80 percent in June.
They surveyed 403 restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and event venues in the city throughout January and found that only 40 percent of them have been offered any kind of rent waiver from a landlord since the pandemic started.
The survey also found that 86 percent of these businesses have been unable to renegotiate their lease despite the devasting blow to their income the pandemic has caused.
The alliance began taking the surveys in June, only a few months into the pandemic, when four out of five hospitality businesses already couldn’t afford to pay their full rent.
It comes as New York City restaurateurs such as celebrity favorites Carbone, Cote and Brooklyn pizza joint Roberta’s are fleeing for Miami – despite the high number of coronavirus cases – to escape the Big Apple’s harsh pandemic restrictions that are crippling business.
According to research published by the New York City Hospitality Alliance on Tuesday, the number of businesses unable to pay rent has climbed steadily over the last few months from 80 percent in June to 92 percent in December
Celebrity hotspot Carbone opened in Miami earlier in February as more restaurateurs leave New York City
Time will tell of Carbone Miami will also be a hit after it opened in the Florida city earlier this month. Pictured, Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West (left) and Jay-Z (right) leaving Carbone in 2017. The restaurant is a celebrity favorite
Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote is the latest NYC staple to make the move to Miami. It opened last Friday
Korean steakhouse Cote, pictured here in Manhattan, is among the wave of restaurants to open in Miami
The restaurant industry in NYC has had to reckon with a winter of outdoor seating only, forcing many of the city’s biggest names to look elsewhere.
In Miami, restaurants have been allowed to open at 100 percent capacity all winter, so long as social distancing is maintained. And with nightclubs restricted in their operations, restaurants have become the star attraction in the city’s night life.
Chef Marcus Samuelsson was among the first to make the move, extending his business to Florida as he opened an outpost of his Harlem hot spot Red Rooster in Miami in December.
He had already lined up the spot pre-pandemic, but Samuelsson appears to have chosen the opportune moment to branch out.
A survey from the NYC Hospitality Alliance found that 45.2 percent of the 403 businesses they surveyed paid no rent in December and 46.4 percent paid only some. Only 8.4 percent paid all of their rent, as pictured above
Of those who were able to pay some of their rent, almost 50 percent paid for half their rent, as pictured
Of the 39.7 percent of businesses who have had their rent waived by landlords during the pandemic, 41.4 percent had to pay half their rent. A further 41.5 percent had a waiver for less than half their rent and only 17.2 percent for more than half the rent
In the survey 24.3% revealed that they have not renegotiated their lease with the landlord but are in good faith negotiations
Celebrity hotspot Carbone, owned by Major Food Group, also opened up there earlier in February.
Major Food Group plans to open three further restaurants there in the near future, according to the New York Post.
It will include a sushi place, an Italian trattoria in the Miami Design District, and a steakhouse in Brickell.
Michelin-starred Korean steakhouse Cote is the latest NYC staple to make the move to Miami, opening its first outpost there just last Friday.
On February 4, Miami also welcomed its fifth Osteria Morini, run by The Altamarea Group. The business is behind New York’s Michelin-star-rated Marea and Ai Fiori.
Brooklyn’s famed pizza place Roberta’s is also among those to have signed a lease in Miami. Pictured in Brooklyn
Bounce Sporting Club is said to be hunting down its perfect Miami spot. Pictured in New York City
Chef Marcus Samuelsson was among the first to make the move, extending his business to Florida as he opened an outpost of his New York City hot spot Red Rooster in Miami in December, as pictured above
Carbone in Miami opened earlier this month as New York City restaurateurs flee for warmer climates
On February 4, Miami also welcomed its fifth Osteria Morini, run by The Altamarea Group
Other restaurants are said to be on the look out, searching for suitable venues or have already signed leases on a new Miami spot.
Sushi chain Kissaki is looking at opening two Miami locations, according to the Post.
Garry Kanfer of Kissaki said that Miami is already his ‘second home’ and he had always planned to open another location there but that the pandemic has hurried up his plans.
‘People want to go to Miami because if something happens in the future, there is always good weather and you can always sit outside,’ he said.
Brooklyn’s famed pizza place Roberta’s is among those to have signed a lease in Miami, as have Sant Ambroeus, Almond and French eatery La Goulue.
The Post reports that Bounce, Proper West and Keith McNally’s Pastis are also hunting down their perfect Miami spot.
An empty Kissaki sushi restaurant in NYC. The restaurant in now looking to open two locations in Miami
Customers are seen eating at Pastis’ outdoor seating in Chelsea in July. NYC restaurants have had to struggle through the winter months with outdoor seating only. Keith McNally’s Pastis is saod to also be hunting down their perfect Miami spot
Pastis is looking for a spot in Miami (pictured left Heidi Klum has dinner at Pastis restaurant in 2019) while Sant Ambroeus is reported to have already signed a lease there (pictured right Mariah Carey leaves Sant Ambroeus in 2018)
Pictured, actress Natasha Henstridge at Pastis restaurant in the meat packing district in NYC in 2005
Proper West, pictured, is said to be looking for a lease in Miami as NYC restaurants remain restricted
Bounce Sporting Club, pictured in 2016, is also looking to move to Miami
Swizz Beatz, Forest Whitaker, and Markuann Smith in Red Rooster in Harlem in 2019
‘Miami is based on nightlife, and with the clubs closed, restaurants and bars are the only places where people can go,’ explained Felix Bendersky of F+B Hospitality Leasing.
‘I’ve had clients who have abandoned projects in Brooklyn and Manhattan because it makes more sense for them to come here and open right away, while in New York they don’t know if they will be open from one day to the next’.
The exodus of restaurateurs to Miami comes as the area’s daily coronavirus case count remains high.
‘We still have a high positivity rate, 8 to 9 percent,’ said Joe Zubi, spokesman for the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, last week.
‘But we have more open bars and restaurants than anywhere else in the US.’
Korean steakhouse Cote has opened a Miami location. Pictured, an empty Cote restaurant in New York City
Pictured, Rihanna leaves Carbone in 2020 (left) and Victoria Beckham leaving the restaurant in 2017 (right)
Secret Service and others stand outside the Carbone restaurant while US President Barack Obama has dinner in 2015
Carbone was also a favorite of actress Emma Roberts (left 2018) and Kendall Jenner (right in 2019)
Miami-Dade County has had 394,492 coronavirus cases, more than a sixth of Florida’s total cases. Neighboring Broward County only has 183,185.
On Monday, Florida reported its lowest number of new daily cases since November 31 with 3,615 new infections and 155 deaths.
In Miami-Dade there were 521 new cases on Monday and 15 additional deaths. The county’s positivity rate has now dropped to 5.88 percent.
Yet despite the daunting COVID-19 figures, sources told the Post that the enforcing of social distancing restrictions in bars and restaurants on Miami has been lax, with many led into a ‘false sense of security’.
‘It’s wild. No one seems to care about COVID here. There’s COVID fatigue and a false sense of security. It’s as if they think it’s safer because it’s sunny and they spend more time outside,’ said Brett Friedman, CEO of Agency21.
The restrictions on the city’s bars and restaurants were lifted by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in September and that, coupled with Miami’s great weather which makes it easier to eat aside all year long, have made it a more attractive prospect to those struggling to keep afloat in NYC.
The Big Apple only just reopened indoor dining at 25 percent capacity from Friday with bar hours extended to 11pm from Sunday.
According the NYC Hospitality Alliance survey, the number of NYC restaurants, bars, nightclubs and event venues in NYC that have not been able to pay their rent has increased since the start of the pandemic, reaching a peak at 92 percent in December.
It found that 45.2 percent of the businesses they surveyed paid no rent in December and 46.4 percent paid only some.
Only 8.4 percent paid all of their rent.
Of those who were able to pay some of their rent, almost 50 percent paid for half their rent.
Among the 39.7 percent of businesses who have had their rent waived by landlords during the pandemic, 41.4 percent had to pay half their rent.
A further 41.5 percent had a waiver for less than half their rent and only 17.2 percent for more than half the rent.
In the survey 24.3 percent revealed that they have not renegotiated their lease with the landlard but are in good faith negotiations.
More than 140,000 industry jobs were lost last year in New York City as thousands of businesses closed.
The return to indoor dining gives a glimmer of hope in the new year yet business owners and industry leaders insist a path to reopening at 50 percent occupancy is necessary even for them to simply continue treading water.
‘We’re nearly a year into the public health and economic crisis that has decimated New York City’s restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues,’ said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance
‘While the reopening of highly regulated indoor dining is welcome news, we need to safely increase occupancy to 50% as soon as possible, and we urgently need robust and comprehensive financial relief from the federal government.
‘We will continue to work with Senator and Majority Leader Schumer to ensure that the $25 billion restaurant industry recovery fund is passed as part of the Biden administration’s emergency relief plan, and advocate for the enactment of the RESTAURANTS Act to save as many local eating and drinking spots and jobs as possible.’
Nationwide, the industry has lost some 110,000 restaurants and 2.5 million jobs, 372,000 jobs of which were lost in December alone.
According to the city’s health department, NYC’s positivity rate currently has a weekly average of 8.59 percent.
It has had 27,131 new cases in the past seven days and 436 deaths.
Nationwide, more than 27.6 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus and there have been 486,332 fatalities.