May 17, 2024 - Food and Drink

Philadelphians want to go out for lunch — but on the weekend

Three slope charts that show the change in weekly share of restaurant transactions from 2019 to 2023 in Philadelphia compared to the U.S. overall. The weekly share of weekday lunch changed from 22% to 18. Happy hour shares changed from 7 to 6. Weekend shares changed from 29 to 33.
Data: Square; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Philadelphians prefer weekend brunch over weekday lunch, per new Square data.

Why it matters: It's a reflection of pandemic behavior changes — and an important insight for restaurants as they continue adapting to survive and thrive.

By the numbers: Weekday lunch's share of overall restaurant transactions in Philly fell from 22% in 2019 to 18% in 2023, based on data from food and drink establishments using Square.

  • The weekend's share grew from about 29% in 2019 to 33% in 2023.
  • Happy hour transactions were nearly flat: 7% in 2019 and 6% in 2023.

How it works: Square, which makes payments processing tech, defines the "weekday lunch" period as 11am-2pm, the "weekend" as all day Saturday and Sunday, and "happy hour" as weekdays between 4-6pm.

What they're saying: Square research lead Ara Kharazian said in the company's new report consumers are spending more at restaurants but are picking different times to splurge, especially post-pandemic.

  • "Now with remote work, restaurant spend has shifted to the weekend and we now see that weekend traffic is at its peak."

Go deeper: Let's do lunch — but not 'til the weekend

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