Restaurant Patrons Slowly Returning

A Morning Consult survey finds 64% of Americans say they feel comfortable going back inside for a sit-down meal at their favorite restaurant.

Suspicions are there has been a bit of a plateau as people return to safety protocols with the Delta variant just beginning to back off in case counts.

Since the start of this year, foot traffic is reported to be up almost 36% nationwide, and Melissa Stewart with the Houston Restaurant Association says we are seeing roughly the same here. "Overall we are seeing the continued release of that pent-up demand that we have had for the past 18 months."

There are still two major issues: supply chain - restaurants still struggling to get needed ingredients; and that ongoing problem finding workers. "Almost everyone who is hiring is really struggling with that for any number of reasons," Stewart adds.

Since January, restaurant foot traffic is up 32%, cafes and bakeries up 70%, and bars around 29.

photo: Getty Images

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