What Restaurants Are Doing To Keep Their Doors Open : The Indicator from Planet Money Restaurants are going out of business in droves. But some are battling hard to keep their doors open.
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Can Restaurants Reopen?

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Can Restaurants Reopen?

Can Restaurants Reopen?

Can Restaurants Reopen?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/894734675/896483568" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 12: A waiter at Raku, an Asian restaurant in Bethesda, wears a protective face mask as serve customers outdoors amid the coronavirus pandemic on June 12, 2020 in Bethesda, Maryland. Many streets are closed to vehicles in downtown Bethesda as Montgomery County continues its phase one easing of COVID-19 restrictions. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Thousands of restaurants have filed for bankruptcy in the last few months. A recent report from Yelp found that nearly 25,000 restaurants have closed since March and more than half may never reopen.

The pain is being felt throughout the restaurant sector. Big chains are struggling: Wendy's, Le Pain Quotidien, Chuck E. Cheese, Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation recently filed for bankruptcy. But it's small restaurants that are really suffering. Most are independently owned; they don't have the protection that size and scale can bring; and they generally don't have much money stored away for tough times. It's estimated that as many as 20% of restaurants in the U.S. might not make it, especially when the weather gets colder and many places have to close patios and outdoor seating.

Some restaurants are doing everything they can to make it through. We talk to one restaurant owner about what he's doing to stay open.

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Correction July 28, 2020

A previous version of this podcast episode and Web introduction incorrectly stated that the restaurant chain IHOP filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy filing was in fact made by a franchisee, CFRA Holdings, which operates 49 IHOP locations in the southeast.