Restaurants in New York could lose as much as $3.6 billion in sales for April alone due to the coronavirus pandemic, an industry group’s survey found.

The Restaurant Association of New York on Tuesday released the findings of a nationwide survey which also polled more than 500 restaurants in the state amid the growing economic crisis in the wake of the pandemic. Restaurants across the country expect to lose $50 billion this month.

More than a half-million restaurant and food service workers have been laid off or furloughed in New York, about 80 percent of the overall estimated workforce. Ninety-three percent of restaurant operators have laid off or furloughed workers since the outbreak.

And New York restaurant operators reported a 79 percent decline in sales from April 1 to April 10, when compared to the previous year. About half of restaurant operators plan to continue to operate takeout for delivery only, while 49 percent plan to temporarily close for the next 30 days or more.

“It goes without saying this has been the most difficult two months the industry has seen in generations,” said Melissa Fleischut, the president and CEO of the New York State Restaurant Association.  

“This pandemic was more like a tsunami, with little to no time to prepare. The restaurant industry is teetering on the edge of collapse. Those staying open for takeout and delivery can hopefully tread water long enough to remain viable in the long run. For those temporarily closed, we all hope the public health data continues to improve so the economy can reopen enough to support them.”