OpenTable Releases Restaurant Industry Index for Q1 2014

We are pleased to release the OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index for the first quarter of 2014.

“Like many other businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, restaurants were hit by winter weather conditions during the first quarter,” said our own Duncan Robertson, Chief Financial Officer of OpenTable. “As a result, overall North America industry diner counts were down two percent year-over-year with a couple of examples of major metropolitan areas impacted by weather such as Chicago and DC down approximately 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively.”

OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index

The OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index is based on data gathered from more than 10,000 reservation-taking restaurants* sampled from the OpenTable network in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Each percentage indicates a year-over-year increase or decrease in the number of guests served in these reservation-taking restaurants, as recorded by the restaurants in their reservation books. Those guests include those who honored reservations made by phone or online as well as those who walked in without a reservation.

To view and download the Index data dating back to 2008, visit http://index.opentable.com

Geographic Region

2010

2011

2012

2013

1Q 2013

1Q 2014

North America

2.3%

2.8%

0.6%

0.0%

-1.4%

-2.1%

United States

2.4%

3.0%

0.6%

0.1%

-1.3%

-2.1%

Atlanta Metropolitan Area

3.0%

0.2%

0.7%

-1.1%

-4.5%

-1.7%

Boston Metropolitan Area

3.9%

1.5%

1.5%

-0.9%

-3.2%

-2.9%

Chicago Metropolitan Area

1.4%

2.9%

-0.1%

-3.0%

-4.3%

-7.8%

Denver Metropolitan Area

3.2%

2.6%

0.4%

1.0%

1.4%

0.3%

Metropolitan Los Angeles

0.9%

2.9%

0.9%

0.9%

-0.8%

1.7%

Metropolitan New York

4.3%

2.6%

0.3%

0.2%

-2.8%

-3.9%

Philadelphia Metropolitan Area

-0.4%

0.8%

0.2%

0.3%

-4.8%

-3.0%

San Francisco Bay Area

1.7%

5.2%

1.5%

3.5%

1.3%

2.4%

Washington D.C. Metropolitan Area

3.0%

1.3%

-1.8%

-0.5%

-1.2%

-6.7%

*Restaurants in the Index may change over time.

Last Call at Jo’s in NYC: Too Brief a Treat

Jo's
The stylish-yet-seemingly-secret dining rooms at Jo’s in Nolita.

Every time a restaurant closes, a piece of my heart breaks — for a hundred different reasons. Primarily, though, it means a dream has, at least momentarily, been dashed.

So is the case with Jo’s in Manhattan’s Nolita neighborhood. Established four years ago by Jim Chu and Johnny Santiago, Jo’s sought to fill a unique gap — that of neighborhood watering hole and everyday restaurant with a warm, welcoming vibe. They courted their regulars, held fun contests (Pancakes!), created an anti-social media postcard campaign, and tweaked their menu very carefully, seeking out kitchen talent who understood their vision and respected the price point they had set for their unusually accessible menu. Chu and Santiago, both longtime veterans of New York City’s bar and restaurant scene (despite their youthful looks), gave cheeky seminars on how to semi-succeed in business, always maintaining their optimism and good humor. On any given night, either one or both could be found on premise, greeting diners, pitching in when duty called, and making sure guests were having a good time.

Despite these careful and creative efforts, Jo’s will shut its doors at the end of service tonight after not even half a decade in business. What led to its untimely demise? Well, this piece by Josh Ozersky regarding the state of dining, blogging, and PR in New York City may shed some light on why only those with the deepest of pockets seem destined to survive. But, ultimately, says co-owner Santiago, “I think for us the biggest issue was our space itself. The location was tough, the physical location. In the end, that’s what did us in.” Continue Reading

On Our Plate: Dine About Town SF + Palm Springs Restaurant Week; Best Outdoor Dining + More

Cafe-Sambal
Cafe Sambal in Miami, Florida, is a top outdoor dining spot.

Happenings on and around OpenTable…

* We’re celebrating the 2013 Diners’ Choice Award winners for Top 100 Best Outdoor Dining Restaurants. Find out if your fave al fresco spot made the list.

* The OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index for Q1 2013 is out. Find out how restaurants performed in major metros around the U.S.

* Palm Springs Desert Resort Restaurant Week reservations are live. Reserve to enjoy special $26 or $38 dinners, May 31-June 16.

* Dine About Town San Francisco is almost here. Book now for $18.95 two-course lunches and $36.95 three-course dinners, June 1-15Continue Reading