6,500 new restaurants opened in September, despite coronavirus pandemic difficulties: report
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Even though 2020 has been a tough year for restaurants, thousands of new establishments opened their doors in September, according to new data.
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On Thursday, Yelp published its third-quarter Economic Average report, which found that restaurants are opening “at a higher rate than one might expect” during the coronavirus pandemic.
In fact, 6,497 new restaurants and food businesses opened in September, according to the data. That’s only 100 fewer than the number of new restaurant openings in the same time period last year.
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Similarly, 6,735 new restaurants opened in August, and 6,710 new restaurants opened in July.
Overall, Yelp said its report “indicates that the number of restaurant and food-based business openings are increasingly more in line with 2018 and 2019 volumes with every passing month.”
Many of the restaurants that opened in the third quarter of 2020 had features that specifically made them accessible and safe during the pandemic, such as “large patios, spaced out tables, order ahead menus and efficient service cuisine,” the report said.
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Yelp found that more new open-air food services opened in the third quarter of this year than during the same time last year, with 211 farmers markets and 1,734 food trucks opening this year.
Other areas of the restaurant industry that saw an increased number of openings in the third-quarter this year compared to last year were pop-up restaurants — which had 100 new openings this year — seafood markets — which had 84 openings this year — and businesses focused on sweets.
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According to the report, four states — and Washington, D.C. — had at least twice the number of new restaurant openings in the third-quarter this year compared to the second quarter of this year.
Those included North Dakota, with 39 openings, Rhode Island, with 69 openings, New Hampshire, with 103 openings and Wyoming, with 34 openings. Washington, D.C., had 108 new openings in the third quarter.
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Meanwhile, California, Texas, Florida, New York and Washington state saw some of the highest numbers of total new openings in the third quarter, with 3,279 openings in California, 2,002 openings in Texas, 1,542 openings in Florida, 1,420 openings in New York and 561 openings in Washington state.
Aside from new restaurant openings in the third quarter, Yelp’s report also analyzed how businesses reopened during the third-quarter and how consumers are returning to pre-pandemic activities.
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