Feb 1, 2022 - Food and Drink

Columbus sees "Restaurant Week" bump in diners

Data: OpenTable; Note: Data for 2020-2022 use 2019 as a baseline. Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The twice-yearly 614 Restaurant Week succeeded in enticing Columbus eaters to dine out in numbers not often seen since pre-pandemic times.

Driving the news: Restaurant reservation service OpenTable features a "State of the Industry" chart to compare how many daily reservations are made compared to that date in 2019 on the OpenTable network.

  • Following a massive drop-off in 2020, Columbus restaurants saw a climb in reservations throughout 2021 until the Omicron variant hit.

The latest: After a slow first day of Restaurant Week (Jan. 24-29), Columbus recorded comparable numbers to 2019 on OpenTable.

  • Thursday, Jan. 27 actually had 11% more reservations than on that date three years earlier — which fell on a weekend.

State of play: Public health mandates are no longer keeping residents home like in 2020.

Zoom out: Across Ohio, restaurants have consistently recorded much less reservations in January 2022 compared to this month in 2019.

  • Besides the pandemic, bad weather in the north is likely to blame.

The takeaway: More time is needed for dining to fully recover, but special events like Restaurant Week can provide an important boost to local businesses.

  • Both of us at Axios Columbus were happy to oblige.
  • Keep an eye out for Pizza and Beer Week in the spring, the second Restaurant Week this summer and Burger Week in the fall.
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