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Ebola fright took ‘significant’ toll on Dallas restaurants, research shows

Fears of exposure to the Ebola virus cut into Dallas’ restaurant and bar traffic by as much as 5 percent in the weeks after three people in the area were diagnosed with the disease, according to the research firm GuestMetrics.

It termed the initial impact “significant,” but noted that conditions have already returned to normal.

Bars were particularly affected, with customer counts falling 11 percent during the first two weeks of October, the company said. That compares with a 6-percent traffic decline for the same period of the prior month, before the first instances of Ebola were reported.

GuestMetrics found that fine-dining restaurants suffered a 9 percent decline in visits during the first half of October.  Quick-service, fast-casual and casual-dining restaurants were virtually unaffected, the firm said.

It noted that restaurant traffic in all sectors resumed its usual pattern by the third week of the month.

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