Yelp Report Details How Many More Operations Are Shutting Down

Las Vegas was reported to be the worst hit metro center for permanent closures per capita. (Las Vegas)

Yelp has released its Q2 2020 Yelp Economic Report that helps put hard numbers against the plight restaurant and bar owners are facing as COVID-19 continues to decimate the industry. Their report in June showed a slowing of closed businesses but that number has started to increase again as state and local mandates from Florida to California have required bars to shut their doors, indoor dining allowances to reverse, or reduction in capacity limits to be reinstated.

Yelp found that in states like Florida, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Georgia, there was “statistically significant correlation” between consumer interest increases for bars, nightlife, restaurants, and gyms and increases COVID-19 cases. These states showed aggregate consumer interest increases of over 50% compared to levels in March and late April. For states that have seen a decrease or slowing in coronavirus cases, consumer interest levels had remained flat through May.

Yelp Business Shutdowns

Overall, Yelp reported 140,000 business closures from March 1st to June 15. This number jumped to 147,000 on June 19 before decreasing to 132,500 on July 10th. Putting this number into context, only 24% of businesses have reopened comparing numbers to April. The national permanent closure rate for all businesses on Yelp is at 55% as of July 10th.

Looking at restaurants specifically, there have been 26,160 operations that have shut down that were open on March 1st. Bars and nightlife has seen 5,454 business shut down. As a percentage, 60% of those restaurants and 45% of those bars and nightclubs have indicated they have shut down permanently which are some of the highest numbers on the Yelp platform. Shopping & retail (48%) was recently surpassed by restaurants to take the top spot and beauty & spas (36%) and fitness (39%) operations round up the three industries excluding hospitality.

Using closures per 100k to normalize market size, Honolulu, San Francisco, and Las Vegas are the worst hit markets. Las Vegas' dependence on tourism is highlighted by the fact that they are suffering the worst rate of permanent closures than any other major market.

Updated Consumer Interest

While businesses are shuttering, consumer interest continues to increase as the country deals with a phased reopening approach. In the food category, wineries (51%) and street vendors (33%) have had the highest increase since June 1st. In nightlife & entertainment, whiskey bars (12%) and beer gardens (9%) are up the most. Karaoke and dance clubs are down 32% and 48%, respectively.

The full report and summary can be found here.