NYC restaurants starved for diners while Miami shops up

New Yorkers have plenty of reservations – about going out to eat.

Table reservations at Manhattan restaurants have dropped by 64% in January 2022 compared to the pre-pandemic January 2020 – only San Francisco (-66%) and Cambridge, Massachusetts (-75%) have performed worse, according to new data released by OpenTable and crunched off celebrity statistician Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight.com.

Brooklyn boites are also hungry for diners with reservations down by 55%. Data for the other districts were not available.

“It’s a ghost town out there,” a Little Italy restaurant manager told The Post, referring to city officials’ inability to curb crime and chaos that drive away both tourists and local diners.

“New York City cannot recover unless bars and restaurants are at the heart of the recovery,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

He cites several major headwinds for Gotham eateries: Lack of tourists, empty office buildings and crooked eateries in a city “hard hit by the pandemic” where “people still have different levels of comfort” by eating out in public.

Outdoor restaurant tables at night, covered in snow.
Brooklyn restaurant reservations have dropped by 55% and 64% in Manhattan.
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NYC restaurants
A restaurant manager in Little Italy called Manhattan a “ghost town.”
Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images

The restaurant vaccine mandate, found only in New York City and a small handful of other major cities, also harms these businesses, he said.

“A lot of people plan events in New Jersey instead of New York City. If you live in the Bronx, you can go to Westchester, or if you live in Queens, you can eat out instead of in Nassau County.

Not all cities are struggling. Dinner reservations have risen slightly (1%) in Las Vegas, which is recovering rapidly, while mandate-free Miami is booming with a 14% increase.

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