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Dine-in traffic nears 2019 levels, OpenTable says

The reservation platform is launching new tools to help guests navigate dining out as they return to restaurants.
People dining out
Photograph: Shutterstock

As diners begin returning to restaurants, reservation and data platform OpenTable is introducing new tools for customers and businesses to help them get reacquainted. 

The resources come as diners are showing a greater willingness to eat inside dining rooms again after more than a year of pandemic restrictions. Dine-in traffic is now only about 20% below 2019 levels, and 75% of U.S. restaurants on OpenTable have reopened, the company said.

Its Back to the Table program for guests provides information such as which restaurants are open near them and the latest guidance on local restaurant restrictions, along with lists of restaurants that are popular for things like outdoor dining or dining with kids. 

“Local restrictions are changing quickly and we want to make sure diners are easily able to see what restaurants are open near them and help them choose a restaurant that meets their needs and comfort level,” said OpenTable CEO Debby Soo in a statement. 

The company this Thursday is also launching a new informational hub for restaurants. The At Your Service portal will offer data-driven insights along with tips on how restaurants can reopen their books and use OpenTable to create waitlists and limit capacity to stay in compliance with local guidelines.

Restaurants have reported strong sales recently from pandemic-weary customers armed with stimulus checks. That surge has not been without its challenges, though, including supply chain, labor and forecasting problems.

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