by Wolf Richter
“Seated diners” get scarcer again as new Covid cases surge.
Eight months into the Pandemic, about 78% of the US restaurants that had taken reservations before the Pandemic took reservations again during the last week in October, the highest since the start of the Pandemic, according to data from OpenTable. This does not include fast-food restaurants, delis, drive-throughs, cafés, and other types of eateries that never took reservations.
But “seated diners,” another metric provided by OpenTable, has dropped to the worst reading since September 19, perhaps due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, with some cities – we’ll get to them in a moment – showing a pronounced decline. This metric represents the percentage drop of the number of people (walk-ins and those with reservations) who ate in restaurants compared to the same weekday in the same week last year. As of October 31, the seven-day moving average of “seated diners” was down 44.6% from the same period last year: