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Allison Schrager: Restaurant Industry's Covid Struggles: Is the Worst Over?

The pandemic was exceptionally hard on the restaurant industry. Many establishments barely held on during 2020 and were hoping to recover in 2021. Much of their money is made over the holidays. But the Omicron variant outbreak may put a damper on those plans. The figures below are from Opentable and track the number of diners in 2021 each day compared to dinners in 2019. Based on the last 6 months of data, it seems restaurants in most countries, except for Australia and the U.S. recovered. The number of diners started to trend down in recent weeks, but so far did not drop off like they did in 2020.

In the U.S. not all regions are the same. Business has never been better in Florida and Texas, but it never fully recovered in New York and California. New York also is showing a small drop in the last few days. it is unclear if this will get worse as its largest city faces another outbreak.

Source: OpenTable

Allison Schrager is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow her on Twitter here.

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Posted: December 22, 2021 Wednesday 11:17 AM