Data revealed by Eat App, one of the Middle East’s largest restaurant reservation platforms, shows a huge decline in dine-in visits at restaurants across the region as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. The data tracks year-over-year reservations for +1,000 restaurants on the app’s network across all channels (walk-ins, as well as phone and online reservations).
According to the data, in March 2020, restaurants across the region saw an overall 60 percent decrease in customers in the weeks leading up to all restaurants shutting down. In Dubai, restaurants saw a 30 percent decrease in business in the days following Dubai banning shisha being served at restaurants. In Dubai, restaurants saw an additional 10 percent drop when all bars, lounges and clubs were ordered to shut down.
Bahrain, UAE and KSA all saw massive dips in restaurant performance in the days following the first case of the virus in their countries, but business bounced back as usual. The real effects of the virus did not become apparent until decisions were made to protect the public (shutting down restaurants, curfews, etc).