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90% of Moscow Restaurants Could Go Bust, Industry Warns

Quarantine has shuttered 15,000 restaurants, cafes and bars across the city. 

Moscow's restaurants have been forced to shut their doors or switch to take-away and deliveries. Alexander NEMENOV / AFP

As many as nine in 10 of Moscow’s restaurants, cafes and bars might not survive the city-wide lockdown, an industry representative has warned.

The Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers (FRIO) said the industry is facing a “great depression,” with revenue now down 90%, and the growth in home delivery services not enough to make up for the shortfall, business daily Vedomosti has reported

Almost 15,000 food and drink venues have been closed in Moscow as a result of the lockdown which came into force Monday, and the group fears most of the capital’s eating establishments might not reopen their doors once the quarantine is lifted.

Russia’s two leading food delivery services, Yandex Eats and Delivery Club have both reported strong growth in orders. Yandex Eats says it is connecting 200 new restaurants to its service a day — six times the usual level — while customer orders are running at levels usually only seen in Russia’s week-long national holidays in May and over the New Year.

However, while the fast food industry has been weathering the storm, the paper reported, the slowdown in business is particularly acute at higher-end sections of the market not well-suited to food delivery.

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