Landry CEO and chairman Tilman Fertitta told CNBC on Tuesday that restaurants that manage to survive the coronavirus pandemic should be able to learn valuable lessons that could make their businesses more profitable. The billionaire restaurant and casino owner said 2022 "could be a spectacular year."
"I've never been someone who has always watched for 15 months, but we have to do that today," said Fertitta at the "Power Lunch". "If we can come back, all of the companies doing 10% in sales up to the same deal, I think those companies are going to be 10% better in profits than they were before this pandemic started because we did." Everyone has learned to work so much more efficiently. "
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating economic toll and the hospitality and hospitality industries have faced government restrictions designed to slow the spread of Covid-19. After the forced closings of indoor restaurants in many states, restaurants were forced to operate at lower capacity or make other security changes, adding to operational challenges in an already low-margin industry.
In early March, when the US only had about 260 confirmed coronavirus cases and before the outbreak was officially declared a pandemic, Fertitta alerted the mounting financial hardship caused by the coronavirus. He told CNBC that his restaurant empire, with over 600 locations worldwide, which had sales of about $ 12 million a day before the coronavirus outbreak, was losing an average of $ 1 million a day.
Large restaurant chains appear to be recovering faster than their smaller counterparts, according to a July study by Bank of America. For Fertitta's company, he said Tuesday that "business has been picking up in the United States lately." Landry brands include Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Morton's The Steakhouse.
He pointed to the imminent resumption of indoor dining in New York City, even though capacity is limited to 25%, as another good sign for the industry. Recently, casinos in New York State were also allowed to reopen.
However, Fertitta warned of a few challenging months as the weather turns cold in many parts of the U.S. and the coronavirus coincides with seasonal influenza.
"This could be a very rocky winter. But I look forward to if we can get through the winter and see everything improve. In businesses, including restaurants, hospitality and casinos, we've all learned to work differently," said Fertitta said.
"What I'm trying to do is be positive. We're going to get through this flu season and everything will be fine and we have some kind of vaccine [for Covid-19] or we're going to keep on knowing how to better treat this disease ", he added.