Forsyth Futures has identified the economic wellbeing of local restaurants as a rough indicator of how the local economy is fairing. Residents going to restaurants indicates that they feel safe returning to public places, that they feel confident enough financially to pay for food prepared at a restaurant instead of preparing meals themselves at home, and that they are spending money at the local level .
OpenTable is an online restaurant reservation platform that summarizes its reservation data to show year-over-year seated diners at restaurants in their network for cities and states with at least 50 restaurants in their network . This data is not available for Winston-Salem specifically, but the state-level data provides a picture of how the restaurant industry is doing in North Carolina. It is important to note that Open Table potentially serves more expensive restaurants (though not universally) and focuses on reservations; this subset of restaurants may have different re-opening dynamics than all restaurants, broadly.