• Overall, restaurant visits dropped nationwide from 2.4 million in January 2020 to just 706,000 by December, according to data from Zenreach.
  • Prior to the pandemic, Californians were most likely to dine out in 2019, but its number of restaurant visits dropped to just 71,000 between January and December 2020.
  • Arizona and Texas moved up one spot each in terms of restaurant visits while New York dropped to 5th place by December.

Related: How this fast-growing West Coast pizza chain achieved record sales in 2020

Restaurant visits went down significantly nationwide in 2020, including a drop of 113,000 visits to pizza places, according to Zenreach, a leader in walk-through marketing.

Overall, according to Zenreach data, Americans paid 2.4 million visits to restaurants in January 2020. That number plummeted to 706,000 by December 2020. Nightclubs and bars fared just as badly, with visits down nearly 75 percent from pre-COVID-19 levels.

So which states saw the worst declines? A Zenreach survey found that, prior to the pandemic, Californians were most likely to dine out, with 437,000 restaurant visits in January 2020. But by December of the same year, that number had shrunk dramatically to just 71,000. That was good enough to keep California at the No. 2 spot on the state-by-state list, but it was less than half of Florida’s number of 149,000 restaurant visits in December 2020.

Meanwhile, Arizona and Texas moved up one spot each between January and December 2020, supplanting New York as the third and fourth most popular states for restaurant-goers. New York slipped to 5th place in December with a drop-off of almost 150,000 diner visits between January and December.

All of the five top states are COVID-19 hotspots in the U.S. California and New York enacted sweeping dine-in lockdowns and capacity restrictions statewide, while Florida’s rules were somewhat more lenient.


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