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The state of the restaurant industry

People are starting to eat at restaurants again. Here is a recent chart from the WSJ showing seated diners at restaurants on the OpenTable network:

OpenTable has been publishing this data since the beginning of the pandemic in something they call “the state of the restaurant industry.” All of their datasets from around the world can be downloaded here.

Back in March, it was interesting to see this data, but most people basically just stopped eating out around the middle of the month. After that, in-person dining mostly flatlined. (This data wouldn’t capture takeout, delivery, and other activities not flowing through the OpenTable network.)

At this point, we are now seeing geographies reopen in different ways. Germany, for example, is ahead of many other countries (at least on the OpenTable network). Note the spike (i.e. lower year-over-year decline) on May 21st. It was a national holiday.

You can also drill down into individual cities:

I think this is a pretty good indicator for how people are feeling, and so it could be useful to follow this data. Governments can reopen things, but people need to feel confident to go out and spend money. It looks like a number of people already feel that way.

1 Comment so far

  1. Thanks for posting this Brandon! I’d be happy to collaborate a few more food industry related posts. One comment about the flatlined data: I believe it corresponds to mandated government shutdowns, hence 0 Opentable reservations. In Canada, FSRs seem to be around 40%-50% just doing takeout from a low of about 10%, while fast casual restaurants are about 60%-80% for their open stores (mostly food court locations remain closed) from a low of about 20%.

    Liked by 1 person

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