Restaurant spending actually up in Utah

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2020 has been an incredibly trying time for restaurants with all of the shutdowns, but recent data from a study done by TOP Data and Zenreach shows it’s not as bad as people may think. Overall nationwide restaurant spending is only down 1% from where it was in January 2020. In fact, many states have seen an increase in restaurant spending since the pandemic started.

Here’s the top states that are currently spending more at restaurants than they did in January 2020, in terms of their percent increase:

Washington – 26%
Utah – 24%
South Dakota – 20%
Alaska – 19%
Alabama – 18%
Nebraska – 18%
North Dakota – 16%
Indiana – 15%
Montana – 15%
Kentucky – 14%
Delaware – 14%
Wisconsin – 13%

And here’s a list of the states spending less at restaurants than they did in January 2020, in terms of their percent decrease:

Idaho – 47%
Massachusetts – 41%
Rhode Island – 34%
California – 29%
New Jersey – 24%
New Hampshire – 19%
New York – 18%
Connecticut – 17%
Florida – 11%
Michigan – 11%
Nevada – 10%
Pennsylvania – 7%

According to Zenreach, the brick-and-mortar marketing experts that have been tracking restaurant foot traffic across the country, we’ve still got a long way to go for restaurants to fully recover. John Kelly, CEO of Zenreach, says “With the number of COVID-19 cases skyrocketing and with the return of more business restrictions, it’s clear we will not be out of the woods for a bit. The difference, however, between this recent wave of closures and the ones which took place earlier in the year is that we now better understand the formula for getting through this challenging period.  

If you can create a safe dining environment, effectively target your best customers, and maintain (or even boost) your marketing spend, the more likely you are to successfully drive customers into your locations and sustain your restaurant business during this challenging time.”

Stuart is the founder, writer and wrangler at several sites including Gastronomic SLC, Utah Now and, The Utah Review; Stuart is a former restaurant critic of more than five years, working for the Salt Lake Tribune and has worked extensively with other local publications from Utah Stories through to Salt Lake Magazine and Visit Salt Lake.