11/02/2012 04:02:00 PM

Online Food Delivery Data Suggests a Resilient Take-Out Industry

Seamless data provides a snapshot of the recovery
One thing we constantly heard from our city dwelling friends pre-storm was something along the lines of "as long as Seamless is working, I'll be happy." The online restaurant delivery service has become ubiquitous for take-out-addicted Manhattan residents, and thousands of eateries make themselves available with the service. There has been talk about the "Starbucks index" to chart recovery, and we think it's fair to use the Seamless-index as another measure of the industry's health, with the numbers suggesting that a majority of restaurants were able to bounce back in about a day.

We chatted with the folks there about statistics during the storm. They report that business citywide was down by a large percentage because of evacuations and restaurant closures early in the week. Check out the percentage of participating eateries that were closed on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and yesterday in Manhattan:

Sunday, 10/28 – 28% closed
Monday, 10/29 – 53% closed
Tuesday, 10/30 – 64% closed
Wednesday, 10/31 – 31% closed

As you see, there is a huge bounce back from Tuesday (when the majority of restaurants stayed boarded up) to Wednesday, when business continued to normalize as the storm bounced back, showing that the delivery industry was largely up and running after two days (in areas with power, at least). The number of folks ordering on corporate accounts increased 100% on Wednesday vs. Tuesday, suggesting that people did in fact find a way back to the office.

There wasn't up to date information for yesterday, but we suspect its higher than 31%, and that it will continue to rise as the lights go on. Once power is restored downtown, we look forward to seeing the number of closures inch closer to zero.

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