Fewer scented candles... more candlelit dinners. Retail sales fell 1.3% last month, but it's not a bad sign for recovery. Spending is shifting from physical goods to "revenge experiences," as Americans swap TV menus for cocktail menus:
Hold my beer garden... Yelp's latest data blows those retail numbers out of the iced tap water. Last month, Yelp seated a record 3.7M diners in the US — up 48% from May 2019. Yelp bookings surged past pre-pandemic levels in almost every US state, minus NY.
Yelp’s data confirms the digital transformation... The 2019 numbers and the 2021 numbers are apples and digital oranges. What these comparisons really reflect: the number of restaurants and diners that moved online. During the pandemic, restaurant owners flocked to tech platforms to secure takeout orders, set up digital menus, and add contactless payments. And it appears they're staying digital. This shift bodes well for restaurant tech providers like Yelp, OpenTable, Toast, Square, and Resy.