The Pandemic’s Lasting Impact on 24-Hour Dining

The pandemic’s impact on late-night dining and retail operations can still be felt years after its onset. Yelp statistics indicate a significant decline in 24-hour service availability, with restaurants experiencing an 18% drop in 24-hour operations from 2020 to 2024. Notably, New York City saw a 13% reduction in its 24-hour restaurants.

This trend extends beyond eateries to retailers, pharmacies, and gyms, which haven’t resumed 24-hour operations since the Covid-19 took hold in America. The change reflects shifts in consumer behavior, including preferences for earlier dining and decreased late-night alcohol consumption, as well as increased labor and food costs which force establishments to curtail hours.

While approximately half of IHOP’s locations and 75% of Denny’s restaurants are resuming 24-hour service on weekends, the overall landscape for 24/7 operations remains challenging, due to concerns about staffing difficulties and public safety.

Despite these obstacles, the desire for 24/7 service remains, evidenced by the enduring appeal of late-night dining as a cultural symbol in America. The transition back to pre-pandemic levels of late-night activity will likely depend on a resurgence of nightlife and events that drive demand for such services.

About James Cannon

James Cannon is an experienced hedge fund analyst. He has served on the advisory boards for various different Fortune 500 companies as well as serving as an adjunct professor of finance. James Cannon has written for a variety of Financial Magazines both on and off line. Contact James at james[at]