4 Takeaways from Resy’s State of Dining Report
by David Klemt
The State of Dining and What’s To Come in 2023 from Resy is an informative report that highlights several key developments to watch this year.
In fact, Resy’s report shines a light on ten trends and predictions for operators to consider. However, I’m going to address the four that stand out the most (to me).
For those who may be unfamiliar with Resy, the company is an online reservation platform. While Resy mostly serves major American cities, it does have a presence in Toronto, Canada, and London, UK.
Most importantly, the platform has a unique view of the industry. Resy looks at the industry through the lens of reservations, meaning they collect data concerning consumer behavior in real time.
So, let’s start with some compelling revelations based on reservation data. To view this report in its entirety, visit Resy via this link.
1. 5:00 PM
According to Resy, one reservation time is standing out from the rest. In comparison to 2019 and 2021, 5:00 PM reservations grew by two percent in 2022.
Now, two percent may seem like insignificant growth. However, given Resy’s reach and the platform’s number of active users, the opposite is true.
A two percent increase equates to hundreds of thousands of reservations.
Now, think about your restaurant or bar and consider your reservation distribution. Do you know which hour sees the most reservations? Not an assumption—do you have the data and therefore know the time?
If not, that’s information you need. Not only is this important for scheduling and controlling costs, it’s the benchmark you need to know if you have any chance of tracking change.
2. The Return of In-person Dining
This is one prediction that multiple industry (and even non-industry) publications are making for 2023. It’s the same for hospitality industry platforms: Companies see 2023 as the year restaurants and bars really come roaring back.
But when Resy makes this prediction, they’re using their reservation data to back it up.
First, last summer represents the single busiest season in the platform’s nine-year history. Second, a specific event, a dinner with chef-operator Massimo Bottura, sold out via Resy in a minute.
Third, October 2022. Why is this month worth pointing out in particular? By October, more Resy users had visited restaurants in 2022 than they had during the entirety of 2021.
Clearly, Resy expects this trend to continue and strengthen in 2023. Given their access to reservation data, this seems like a well-informed prediction.
In December of last year we checked out the best states in America for starting a business. Pennsylvania stood out to us for obvious reasons: our Northeastern office is in Philadelphia, with Kim Richardson at the helm.
Overall, Pennsylvania holds the number four spot on the Forbes list. For comparison, Florida slots in at number 45.
However, Miami appears to be an outlier for restaurant and bar entrepreneurs when it comes to Florida.
Per Resy, the restaurant footprint in Miami grew fourfold from 2017 to 2022. Moreover, Resy is seeing continuous growth in Miami. Going even further, this growth is coming from local and outside operators.
In fact, Resy describes South Florida as “white hot for high-profile sequels.” An operator has a top-tier concept? They’re likely to expand into Miami.
Last week I addressed Datassential weighing in on photos versus videos. According to the F&B research firm, video is now dominating social media engagement.
And also last week, I explained the importance of discovery functionality. Operators who are considering adding a platform to their tech stack should consider whether it will help people discover their restaurant, bar, or hotel.
Resy is a platform that doesn’t just offer discoverability, it’s a core feature. So, when they say that TikTok appears to be a powerful discovery tool for restaurants and bars, that’s likely true.
Now, a poll Resy cites in their report reveals that traditional word of mouth is the top method of discovery. However, the same poll cites that TikTok is the top discovery platform for 43 percent of Gen Zers. Or, in other words, video, or digital word of mouth.
Should operators jump on TikTok? That’s something only individuals can determine is good for their business.
But if they’re courting Gen Z, well…they may need to add TikTok to their social media toolbox.
Image: Meredith Jenks for Resy