Deep Dive: How has Omicron changed dining plans for residents in New Jersey?

In this week's Deep Dive, News 12's Kristie Reeter takes a look at the numbers in the area to see what restaurants are dealing with following the recent surge in COVID-19 cases.
In a News 12 poll, New Jersey residents were asked: How has Omicron changed your dining plans? A majority said, no change.
We asked Caleb Silver, with Investopedia, if restaurants are taking a hit. He’s able to track all this through Open Table, a restaurant reservation app.
“In December especially in New Jersey, we have seen a steep decline, we are down 9% from 2019 levels just in the month of December, but New Jersey had experienced a nice restaurant recovery through the summer that really stalled in September as the summer came to an end,” says Silver.
Jobs, especially those in the hospitality industry, are also tied to this. Silver explains what we are seeing there.
“Well, New Jersey has so many people who are employed in that industry, there has been steep declines for the past year and a half in that industry,” says Silver. “There are 202,800 people in the restaurant industry in New Jersey that's down 10% from 2019 levels, so we are still missing a lot of jobs in that sector."