Wheels to Meals: Measuring the Impact of Micromobility on Restaurant Demand
62 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2021 Last revised: 7 May 2023
Date Written: May 3, 2023
Dockless shared micromobility services have grown substantially in recent years, but their impact upon consumer demand has remained largely unstudied. The authors estimate how the largest and fastest growing segment of this market -- the dockless electric scooter (`e-scooter') sharing industry -- impacts spending in one of the largest segments of the local economy, the restaurant industry. Using data covering 391 companies in 98 U.S. cities, the authors find that the introduction of e-scooters in a city significantly impacts restaurant spending, increasing spending by approximately 5.2% for e-scooter users, driving incremental spending of at least $11.3 million annually across all cities that first allowed e-scooters to operate over summer 2018. Impact varies by restaurant subcategory, with a stronger positive effect upon fast food restaurant spending, and a weaker effect upon sitdown restaurant spending. E-scooter entry has a larger impact upon companies with higher historical revenues selling at lower prices. It facilitates discovery of new restaurants from prospective customers and repeat business from already-acquired customers.
Keywords: micromobility, sharing economy, electric scooters
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