Restaurants In Lockdown-Loving, High-Crime Cities Still Reeling While Others Thrive

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Aug 20, 2022 - 07:00 PM

More than two and a half years after the Covid-19 pandemic reached America, there's a enormous divide among America's restaurant markets. In deep-blue cities that embraced lockdowns, the number of diners is still far below pre-pandemic levels. Meanwhile, restaurant businesses are prospering in states that were quickest to reject Covidian authoritarianism.  

That's the finding of a Fox News report centered on data from OpenTable, a company that helps more than 60,000 restaurants worldwide manage reservations, payments and operations.  

Civil unrest and crime have likely played a defining role too. It's probably no coincidence that the worst-performing city -- Minneapolis -- was at the epicenter of the George Floyd riots that ravaged deep-blue cities. Strikingly, the number of average daily diners in Minneapolis is still less than half what the city enjoyed in pre-Covid, pre-Floyd 2019.  

"We’re just getting killed in Minneapolis," restauranteur Greg Urban told Fox News. "People don’t feel safe. They don’t feel safe coming to Minneapolis. It’s a public safety issue right now." 

Happily, Urban is geographically -- and politically -- diversified, with nightspots in Austin, Pensacola and Lakeland, Florida too. 

The 10 worst cities represent a who's who of cringe-inducing, high-crime, vaccination-forcing, mask-adoring metropolises, with the likes of San Francisco, Portland, Seattle and Philadelphia rounding out the top five losers. 

Meanwhile, the list of the 10 best-performing restaurant cities includes four from Florida which, under Governor DeSantis, helped set an example that emboldened other red-state governors to shift policies and begin rising out of the depths of public health madness. Underscoring a clear Sunbelt trend, Texas and Arizona placed two cities apiece. 

10 Worst Lockdown-Hammered Restaurant Cities (Change in Daily Diners: July 2022 vs July 2019)

  1. Minneapolis (-54.3%)

  2. San Francisco (-45.9%)

  3. Portland (-45.2%)

  4. Seattle (-40.8%)

  5. Philadelphia (-39.2%)

  6. New York (-37.9%)

  7. St. Louis (-28.2%)

  8. Washington, DC (-27.3%)

  9. Baltimore (-24.9%)

  10. Chicago (-22.8%)  

10 Best-Performing Restaurant Cities (Change in Daily Diners: July 2022 vs July 2019)

  1. Las Vegas (+35.7%)

  2. Fort Lauderdale (+34.0%)

  3. Miami (+32.8%)

  4. Austin (+27.3%)

  5. Naples (+25.4%)

  6. Tampa (+22.3%)

  7. Nashville (19.2%)

  8. San Antonio (+18.6%)

  9. Scottsdale (+18.0%)

  10. Phoenix (+14.3%)

Source: OpenTable via Fox News