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A majority of restaurant operators say that business conditions are worse than three months ago, in large part due to the Delta variant. Deteriorating business conditions are impacting their outlook in such a way that they now believe a recovery from the pandemic will be prolonged well into 2022, according to a new survey.

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Conducted by the National Restaurant Association, the survey also found that 44% of operators think it will be more than a year before business conditions return to normal and 19% believe they never will.

Specifically, 78% of operators say their restaurant experienced a decline in customer demand for indoor, on-premises dining in recent weeks because of the delta variant spike. Costs are up, as well —

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