Chart of the Month: The world heads out to dinner

COVID-19 restrictions are continuing to ease across the world as vaccination levels rise, permitting restaurants to reopen and consumers to dine. The hospitality sector, although battling to stay afloat with services such as contactless takeaways, has seen a strong recovery around the world as people begin to leave their homes again. 

As our Chart of the Month shows below, many countries have seen restaurant bookings rise back, or above, 2019 levels as pent-up demand lets itself loose. In between lockdown periods, Australia has seen its number of diners almost double, showing promising signs for when the industry reopens. Similar trends have occurred in Germany, with restaurant activity now sitting 30% higher than 2019 levels. And after a long period of restrictions, the UK has sustained high restaurant numbers as they end their summer with 66% of the population fully vaccinated. 

Meanwhile, the US, which has had regional instead of national lockdowns, has remained below 2019 levels since early 2020, as customers face more risk when leaving the house. However, it’s notable that even with the Delta variant causing a resurgence of cases across the world, restaurant activity is back around usual levels.

Evidently, for most places not shut by lockdowns, restaurant bookings are returning to normal 2019 levels, if not better. Despite the Delta variant infecting predominantly in indoor areas (like dining), customers don't seem too fussed that this will stop their dinner dates. 

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