Government efforts to slow the spread of coronavirus around the U.S. are having an unprecedented effect on restaurants, with many states ordering eating and drinking establishment to close to dine-in customers. Data from the reservation system OpenTable shows how the spread of the virus — and efforts to contain it — has affected restaurants across the country and the world.
Globally, sit-down traffic at restaurants that use OpenTable have dropped a whopping 83% from a year ago (The data accounts for anyone who comes in and eats a meal, regardless of whether they used OpenTable to book it.)
No U.S. state has been left unaffected, and the business dropoff has been stunning. Here is the volume of restaurant bookings on March 3 — a month after the virus was identified in the U.S.
Here is the volume of restaurant traffic two weeks later, on March 17:
The data reveal the speed of the outbreak in different cities and states. Washington registered the first patient who tested positive for the coronavirus, as well as the close for two weeks.from the disease, on February 29. A week later, Washington's governor banned gatherings of more than 250 people. On Monday, he ordered all bars and restaurants in the state to
In Texas, it took more time for the impact of the virus outbreak on restaurants to be apparent. The state announced its first case of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, on March 4, and its first death on Tuesday. Governor Greg Abbott closed all bars and restaurants only on Thursday.
Explore the drops in many U.S. cities in the table below. You'll see large convention cities like Las Vegas seeing a big traffic drop in February, while other cities, like Philadelphia, show only moderate declines until mid-March.