Pandemic restaurant closures produce glut of used equipment

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Posted at 4:33 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 07:33:23-05

SAN LEANDRO, Calif. (AP) - The COVID-19 pandemic has forced tens of thousands of restaurants to permanently shut their doors as dining restrictions keep customers away.

But it has also been a boon for commercial auctioneers that buy used equipment and sell them to restaurants that managed to stay afloat.

Grafe Auction's chief marketing and technology officer says his company conducted 289 auctions in 2020, up from 203 in 2019.

August was the most profitable month since the company was founded in 1959.

A new report by the National Restaurant Association shows the pandemic's devastating impact on the restaurant industry, which last year lost 110,000 businesses - about 17% of the nation's total.