Though the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the world — especially the restaurant industry — it seems like things are looking up.
March was the best sales month since the start of the pandemic, and according to Google Adwords Data, 133 million Google searches were made in March 2021 for "restaurants near me," in addition to "breakfast places near me," "Chinese restaurants near me" and "Taco Bell near me."
Now, a new study has identified the cities with the fastest and slowest recovering restaurants.
According to Chef's Pencil, Las Vegas, Nev., is the number one city to recover the fastest, with an 81 percent search increase from March 2021 vs. January 2020. Memphis, Tenn., came in second, with 79 percent, while San Antonio, Texas, came in third with 71 percent.
El Paso, Texas, came in fourth with 67 percent, while Virginia Beach, Va., came in fifth, with 66 percent.
“The resurgence of the desire for people to go out is really overwhelming,” Chef Thomas Keller told the Las-Vegas Review Journal in April 2020 once restrictions eased.
“Today we did over 500 people for brunch, which is not quite equal to what we would do on a weekend brunch pre-pandemic, but is certainly what we would do on a Thursday or a Wednesday brunch. And 500 people — that’s a lot of people coming through your door.”
The cities with the slowest recovery are Oakland, Calif., with 47 percent, New York, N.Y., with -2 percent, Boston, Mass., with -2 percent, Washington D.C. with -20 percent and San Francisco, Calif., with 24 percent.
However, Leo Jacob, director of sales and marketing for the Bowery Hotel, is adamant on showing the world that the Big Apple is open and thriving.
So much so, he took photos of restauranteurs and compiled them into a book. “The book’s purpose is to change the narrative, NYC is alive,” he said. “I want to make sure people do not forget that there were a few that stayed open, reopened and really powered through to keep NYC alive amidst the COVID pandemic.”