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Source: US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Israeli Hotel Restaurant Institutional (HRI) sector was generally stable. The economy’s growth over the past decade led to an increase in spending on dining out. Sales at hotels and resorts grew. The restaurant sector evolved and shifted from full service restaurants towards fast food outlets as restaurateurs sought to minimize their risk in the face of financial strains due to high fixed costs. In addition, the rapid construction of shopping centers encouraged growth in food service in retail centers. Institutional sales were strong and steady as a few large firms vied for control of a limited market. The impact of the COVID-19 on the Israel HRI sector has been nothing short of devastating. Due to restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, the Israel restaurant and café sector estimates that during the first half of calendar year 2020, about 2,000 businesses have closed. Under the current scenario, the sector expects a total of 4,500 establishments will permanent.