SEOUL, June 3 (Korea Bizwire) — Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of South Korean restaurants that shut down last year declined compared to a year earlier, data showed Wednesday.
According to a report from the Korea Foodservice Industry Research Institute that analyzed data from the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, the number of general restaurants that closed down last year totaled 54,437, down 8.6 percent from 59,530 in 2019.
Last year’s figure was the lowest since 2016 (51,377).
“Restaurant owners strived to overcome the COVID-19 crisis by launching delivery or take-out services,” said Chung So-yun, the senior analyst at the institute who wrote the report.
Another factor that made restaurant owners hesitate to close down their businesses is the high cost of shutting down, including expenses associated with the removal of interior furnishings and equipment.”
In addition, the qualification requirements for the emergency subsidy that the government provided last year have also been cited as a factor for the lower-than-expected restaurant closures.
For restaurant owners to receive the subsidy, they had to keep their business open.
In general, the restaurant industry has a higher business closure rate (the ratio of the owners driven out of the business to those who continue operations) than other industries.
According to data from the National Tax Service, the restaurant industry’s business closure rate stood at 21.5 percent in 2019, the highest among 52 industries.
This figure is far higher than wholesale and commodity brokerages (11.5 percent), retailers (18.6 percent), accommodations (13.4 percent), and transport (8.5 percent).
J. S. Shin (firstname.lastname@example.org)