First Faculty Advisor
Second Faculty Advisor
COVID-19; restaurants; restrictions; policy
The COVID-19 pandemic and the government restrictions adopted during the pandemic have had a detrimental impact on the continued survival and growth of many industries, including the restaurant industry. This study identifies critical regulations relating to COVID-19, implemented in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, as well as on a federal level, which directly impacted the restaurant industry. It is essential that certain economic and social factors are isolated as a means of establishing trends. In the case of this study, a mixed methods approach was used. The number of restaurants open, the amount of restaurant revenue, and the level of consumer spending at restaurants were utilized in this capacity for this study. In addition, interviews conducted in person at local restaurants helped ascertain which measures were implemented to adapt to the COVID-19 restrictions. In order to gather a wide-sweeping sample of the industry, multiple sectors and restaurant sizes were analyzed from both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. It was found that restrictions had a direct impact on the number of restaurants open, the amount of revenue restaurants made, the levels of consumer spending at the restaurants, and the number of innovations created in an attempt to combat the pandemic restrictions. While the direct insights relate to past events, the goal is to gain a better understanding of how businesses respond to public policies that are adopted in response to major life-altering events such as pandemics.