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A Connecticut survey shows the widespread effect Delta had on restaurants

Restaurant Worker Personal Protective Equipment
Charles Krupa

Seventy-five percent of Connecticut restaurants said their sales are still down compared to before the pandemic, according to a new survey by the Connecticut Restaurant Association.

Scott Dolch, executive director of the association, blamed the increase in COVID-19 cases that state saw over the summer.

“We had a very good May, June, July but to see numbers in August start to ... with a Delta there and everything else starts to not only flatten out, but go back down a little bit. I'm worried about you know, the next three to six to 12 months of how our industry is going to recover,” Dolch said.

The survey also showed that nearly 80% of restaurants are understaffed and that 90% of restaurants have seen a decrease in indoor dining since the Delta variant began to spread over the summer. Dolch said many restaurants are eager to hire, but they can not fill vacancies.

He said he is interested in helping restaurant owners recruit Afghan refugees coming into the state.

Over 160,000 people were employed in the state’s restaurant industry, and accounted for 10% of the state’s economy prior to the pandemic.

Leah is a former intern with WSHU Public Radio.