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California Restaurant Association says omicron has been bad for business

According to results of a new survey, 89% of restaurants polled experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor dining in recent weeks.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Results from a new survey issued by the California Restaurant Association (CRA) reveal the Omicron variant has taken a toll on the restaurant industry.

4,200 restaurants across the country were polled. About half revealed they have reduced hours or days that they're open. The majority of those polled said a demand for indoor dining has decreased in recent weeks.

Other findings:

  • 29% closed on days they would normally be open
  • 39% reduced seating capacity
  • 77% of owners say business conditions are worse now than they were three months ago

The majority said their business is less profitable now than it was before the pandemic.

However, the situation is not grim for all restaurants. There are some that have actually done well during the pandemic.

  • 17% reported reported a sales increase from 2019 - 2021 
  • 16% have reported more traffic from 2019 - 2021

The California Restaurant Association wants Congress to replenish funding for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RFF). Last year, lawmakers created the $28 billion fund to help struggling restaurants during the pandemic. Restaurants were given grants to pay for things like payroll, rent and utilites.

According to CRA, the majority of owners who got a grant said it helped them stay in business during the pandemic, and that it also helped them hire back or retain workers.

WATCH RELATED: Southern California school leaders announce new bill requiring COVID vaccine for school children (January 2022)

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