September 13, 2017
Restaurants to feel hurricane impact long after the storm is over
First it’s the flood waters, the lack of power, and spoiled food. Then, it really gets bad for restaurant owners coping with the aftermath of a powerful storm.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that about 40 percent of small businesses will never reopen after a disaster.
Houston restaurant owner Brian Fasthoff told CNBC that there are four or five restaurants in the downtown area that he expects will never open again after major flooding and property damage.
While Fasthoff’s restaurant, Batanga’s, was safe from flood waters, which pooled just a block from his location, the storm caused the Latin American restaurant to lose power for three to four days and forced Fasthoff to shutter for a week.
Fasthoff told CNBC the restaurant lost revenue during the time it was closed and had to toss the food in its refrigerators and freezers that had spoiled when it didn’t have power. Not to mention, he still had to pay rent and provide paychecks to his salaried employees.
Business interruption insurance should help Fasthoff recoup some of these losses, but two weeks after he put in his claim, he has yet to hear back from his insurance company.