NY restaurants take another hit because of omicron drop-off in customers dining inside


NY Restaurants Hit Hard by Indoor Dining Drop-Off Over the Past Month, Survey Says

by Erika Adams  Jan 31, 2022, 11:07am EST

A waiter at Le Pain Quotiden wearing a mask looks at his phone near rows of empty tables during lunch hours.
Customer demand for indoor dining declined in January.

New York’s omicron-fueled spike in COVID-19 cases has unsurprisingly dealt another blow to the state’s battle-weary restaurants. According to a January survey released by the New York State Restaurant Association, 93 percent of restaurant respondents have seen a decline in demand for indoor dining in recent weeks and 86 percent of restaurants report that “business conditions” are worse now than they were three months ago.

Reservations platforms, too, have noted the recent declines in demand for indoor dining. OpenTable reported a 64 percent decrease in Manhattan bookings in January 2022 as compared to the same period two years ago, according to the New York Post. Reservations were down by 55 percent in Brooklyn.

In response to the recent surge in case counts, 55 percent of restaurants reduced their operating hours; 26 percent reduced seating capacity; and 7 percent temporarily moved to takeout and delivery-only. The vast majority of restaurant owners are pushing for replenishment of the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund to keep their doors open, and the NYSRA is calling on the state government to reenact other measures of support, including permanently legalizing to-go cocktails. The survey was conducted in January 2022 and included responses from 335 New York restaurateurs.

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