May 27, 2020, by Erik Larson

What's up with our restaurants?

New data show real-time changes in seated diners

I never thought I would do a double-take at seeing two people seated in a restaurant, but that's exactly what I did last week. I was pulling into our grocery store parking lot and passed the diners in clear view from the restaurant window. I narrowly avoided crashing into the car in front of me.

Maybe I've lost my bearings, but in talking to others it seems like the very idea of going to a restaurant is still foreign. Somehow erased by a mere two months of eating at home or ordering takeout.

Since the COVID-19 crisis many of us have wondered how restaurants will survive, how they are doing with early re-opening, and what the consumer confidence level is in venturing out...into a dining room. We thought we'd share some recent data we started using in our COVID Recovery Dashboard Service, which comes from the reservation booking app OpenTable.

What this data set shows is the daily trend in reservations compared to the same period last year.

Seated Diners: % Change 2019 to 2020

This example is just a snippet of the types of data we are helping states, counties and communities use to track recovery and plan for the future. If you'd like to get a more in-depth demo of some recent client projects, please get in touch by clicking the button below to schedule a time.