An estimated $310 million in sales is expected to be lost in April by Iowa’s restaurant and food service industry, a newly released study shows.

The study, conducted by the Iowa and National restaurant associations, also found that 10% of Iowa’s estimated restaurants and bars won’t be able to reopen if mandated closures are extended past May 1. If closures are extended past Jun 1, 18% will be financially unable to reopen, the study found.

“Iowa’s hospitality industry is on the precipice of collapse,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, in a prepared statement. “We desperately need to find a path to responsibly open our doors, even if it’s a graduated, rolling re-open strategy that includes social distancing measures. 

“The longer these on-premise service suspensions are extended, the more operators we will permanently lose.” 

On March 17, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the state’s restaurants and bars to shutter their sit-down areas. The mandate was made as an effort to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, which through Tuesday had killed 90 Iowans.

While about 58% of restaurants and bars turned to carryout, drive-thru and delivery, most owners have found the service is not profitable and only covers the cost of workers’ salaries and paying rent, the study found. 

More than two-thirds of bars in the state have not attempted to offer mixed drinks and other beverages under the state’s newly relaxed guidelines, the study found. Owners said the practice wasn’t profitable and that they couldn’t compete with retail prices.

The study also found:

– Restaurant owners reported a 75% decline in sales compared with a year ago.

– Just 45% of restaurant and bar owners said they would be able to rehire all of their laid-off employees once the shutdown order is lifted. The study estimates that 66,000 restaurant and bar employees have been laid off since early March.

– 17% of restaurant owners were approved and have received loans from the federal Paycheck Protection Program. In addition, 26% have been approved for the loans but haven’t yet received the money.

– 49% of restaurant owners/operators have received some relief from the landlord or mortgage lender in the form of forbearance or other deferral. 

The Iowa Restaurant Association and its national parent are lobbying Congress for additional assistance by creating the Restaurant and Foodservice Industry Recovery Act, which would allow any restaurant that has experienced a 25% or more decrease in revenue due to COVID-19 to access funds.

RELATED: ‘Adapt and survive’: Iowa’s 6,200-plus restaurants and bars dealing with adversity amid coronavirus-related closures