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- September 1, 2021: Vol. 33, Number 8

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Full-service restaurant foot traffic increases

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With many states planning to fully reopen, diners are returning to date night or family nights outside the home.

Dining out is a return to pre-pandemic life, and there is pent-up socialization. Restaurants are opening dining rooms to various degrees. More than 22,000 restaurants and food businesses reopened in the second quarter, according to Yelp data, reflecting growing confidence among restaurant owners.

Comfort with dining out is at 68 percent in the United States, according to Morning Consult. However, Americans continue to prefer outdoor dining over indoor dining. There has been a gap in comfort of roughly 7–8 percentage points between the two options throughout the summer. Yelp found more than 3.7 million diners seated via Yelp in May 2021 — the highest ever, surpassing pre-pandemic highs. In fact, the number of diners seated via Yelp was up 48 percent in May 2021 compared to May 2019. Yelp saw a similar increase in diners seated in April 2021.

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