North American restaurants suffered overall declines in diner counts of 2.1 percent for first-quarter 2014, according to the recently released OpenTable Restaurant Industry Index.
"Like many other businesses across the Midwest and East Coast, restaurants were hit by winter weather conditions during the first quarter," says Duncan Robertson, OpenTable’s chief financial officer. "As a result, overall North America industry diner counts were down two percent year-over-year.”
Chicago and Washington, D.C. restaurants suffered the most serious declines in diner counts, sliding 7.9 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively. New York, Philadelphia, and Boston metro area eateries also realized significant declines in the number of guests, with declines of 3.9 percent, 3 percent, and 2.9 percent, respectively. Atlanta’s restaurants’ revenues declined 1.7 percent.
West Coast restaurants fared much better, with Los Angeles and San Francisco area restaurants experiencing increases in guest counts, of 1.7 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively.
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.