Texas diners eating at restaurants more readily than rest of U.S.
Even as the pandemic persists (yes, we're still in a pandemic), Austinites are headed to restaurants in numbers that exceed those of the before times, per data from OpenTable.
The big picture: The rest of the U.S. is still sorta hunkered down, but Austinites are out and about.
- That mirrors what we're seeing with the return to work, as Austin logs higher office occupancy than most of the country.
What they're saying: Texas' population growth and the resiliency of its economy is fueling the restaurant recovery, Kelsey Erickson Streufert, a spokesperson for the Texas Restaurant Association, told Axios.
- "The customer data out of COVID is that people really value experiences more than stuff, and travel is kind of a pain right now — it's harder to get flights and gas is expensive," she said. "So we're seeing people take advantage of going to restaurants in their community. And it's just a resurgence of wanting to be out in the community after an incredibly difficult two years, emotionally and culturally."
💭 Our thought bubble: Our own dining-out habits feel back to normal — though with unvaccinated kids in tow, we're still sticking with eating outside.
- Let us know about your restaurant habits. Are you back to normal? Playing it safe? Write us at [email protected].
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