Nov 6, 2023 - Food and Drink

Early bird diners are on the rise in Boston

Dinner reservation times in Boston
Data: Resy; Chart: Alice Feng/Axios

It's not just the sunset that's getting earlier. More Bostonians, some of whom continue to work remotely, are making earlier dinner reservations — 5pm early.

By the numbers: 5pm dinner reservations are more popular now than they've been in the last five years, according to data Resy shared with Axios.

Boston-area reservations on the platform in 2023 for 5-6pm are up 1.4% compared to 2019 numbers.

  • And reservations made for the 8 o'clock hour have dropped almost 2%.

Boston's uptick in 5pm dining is less than the 2.1% increase seen nationwide, but the city is still one of several in the U.S. seeing a slight but persistent climb.

  • Chicago and D.C. saw a 1.3% increase, while New Orleans went up 2% and Nashville 3%.

What they're saying: Eating dinner early could benefit your metabolic health, experts say.

Meanwhile, it's not just dinners that are happening at 5pm — so are workouts.

  • According to Future fitness app data from April to June 2023, 5pm was the most popular time to start a workout among a sample of 20,000 users.
  • That's a major shift from 2019, when the app's most popular workout start time was before 7am, possibly ahead of a work commute.

Zoom out: The shift to eating and exercising while the sun's still out appears to be part of a larger trend to prioritize work-life balance and sleep over hustle culture.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Boston stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Boston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more