March 14, 2020


Looking at comprehensive data from restaurants on our platform — across online reservations, phone reservations, and walk-ins — we note sharp declines over the last week. In the United States and United Kingdom, we see a 20 percent reduction in total seated diners vs. last year. Mexico and Canada are down 15 to 17 percent. At the city level, diners are down approximately 45 percent in Seattle, 40 percent in San Francisco, 30 percent in New York, and 25 percent in London, Los Angeles, and Chicago. (All declines cited here are on a year-over-year basis.) . . .

To support the restaurants we all love, we’d like to share a few simple things you can do to help your favorite restaurants weather this storm:

If you have a change of plans, please let the restaurant know as soon as possible so they can plan accordingly. Even cancelling the same day is better than not showing up.
Order take-out or delivery. It gives the restaurant business and keeps you well fed. Many restaurants that don’t usually offer these options are making exceptions.
Re-book for a future date—it will give everyone something to look forward to.
Consider purchasing restaurant gift cards if they’re offered.
Tip generously if you can afford it. Tipped workers are some of the first to suffer in times of economic distress.

I’ve left several $20 tips this week, because I know the folks getting them will need it.

More on the state of the restaurant industry here.

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