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Some Cities Return to Normal While Others Struggle to Leave COVID-19 Behind

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Some Cities Return to Normal While Others Struggle to Leave COVID-19 Behind

June 23, 2021

Diners-Return-to-cities

It feels like American cities are coming back to life. But some are coming back faster than others. The figure above plots the percent change in restaurant diners compared to the same week in 2019 from OpenTable. Overall, most Americans are back in force, restaurant traffic is up 40% for the United states as a whole and much higher in cities in states like Texas and Arizona. In Houston the number of diners has doubled. But other states still have not come back; restaurant traffic is still down more than 30% in cities like San Francisco and New York. It could be because these cities are more dependent or tourism (though dining in Miami is up 80%), more restaurants have closed, or their residents are still reluctant to dine out. 

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

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