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Rent: A tale of two kinds of restaurants


Following a relatively optimistic March in which independent restaurants’ rent delinquencies improved materially, things seemed to have slowed down again. According to new data from Alignable, 49% of small restaurant businesses couldn’t pay the rent in April.

April’s delinquencies were at the highest level thus far in 2023. In March, rent delinquencies fell to 34% versus 40% in February, 38% in January and 52% in December.

Restaurant rent delinquencies trailed only transportation across all segments in April. Overall, 39% of small business owners fell behind on rent this month, compared to just 30% in January, pointing to a steep downward trend within the past four months. According to Alignable’s survey of over 4,200 respondents, independent operators cited rent increases, continued inflation/supply costs, reduced revenue and less access to funding as their biggest roadblocks. Fifty-three percent said their rent is now higher than it was six months ago, while 75% of small business owners say they haven’t experienced any relief yet on cooling inflation.

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