Sep 26, 2022 - Food and Drink

OpenTable reservations have yet to rebound in Seattle

Data:Ā OpenTable; Chart: Axios Visuals

Restaurant bookings in Seattle were down 28% at the start of this month compared to pre-pandemic, according to new data from OpenTable.

The big picture: Seattle's restaurant industry appears to be recovering from COVID shutdowns and slowdowns at a more sluggish pace than other parts of the country.

Zoom out: Unlike the city, bookings in Washington state broadly and nationwide have bounced back to pre-pandemic levels and then some.

  • Bookings were up 9% statewide and 19% nationally compared to the same period in 2019.

Between the lines: Downtown Seattle restaurants have been hit particularly hard as fewer people travel for business, to the office and to attend conventions, said Anthony Anton, Washington Hospitality Association president and CEO.

  • "If we're going to fully recoup and see numbers that match 2019, we need to get those convention centers filled," Anton told Axios.
  • Labor shortages have also led many restaurants to reduce their hours, Anton said, noting that OpenTable's figures are just one metric for gauging the industry's health.

The latest: Seattle has embraced remote work more than almost any other city in the country, per new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

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