Aug 18, 2021 - Food and Drink
Charted: How Twin Cities restaurants are still struggling
Data: Opentable; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's been 17 months since the pandemic hit and Twin Cities restaurants are still struggling to fill their tables.

Driving the news: OpenTable, the online reservation system, says the number of daily seated diners in the Twin Cities metro has been down between 32% and 75% since February 2020.

Between the lines: The poor numbers — which stayed low even after Minnesota's May 28 lifting of pandemic restrictions — are puzzling given the metro's high vaccination rates and relatively low COVID spread this summer.

  • But the numbers indicate plenty of people just aren't ready to dine out yet, or have newfound concern for the Delta variant.
  • Other metro areas, like Florida's Tampa and Fort Lauderdale has been enjoying increases in seated diners in 2021, compared to 2019. But those numbers have fallen recently with the rise of cases in the state.
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