MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Many restaurants along the Grand Strand are not seeing the turnout they expected from the tourist crowd this season. After a strong start to the season, things seem to be tapering off.
"It started out pretty strong in the early spring," says Julie McGorty of Ramando's. "It started earlier, but it's ending earlier."
Many restaurants say their numbers are still pretty solid for the season, but don't compare to the large crowds of last year. Many also believe more tourists are opting to dine at the family table instead of going out to eat.
"We've seen larger orders for food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner," says Piggly Wiggly manager Timmy Parrott. "That is something you don't usually see."
But despite more tourists hitting the checkout line than the buffet line, some restaurants, like Angelo's, are seeing higher turnout than expected. They say it's due to intensely loyal customers.
"We open the door at 3:30 and there's already a line," says Anthony Antonucci. "It's been a great summer so far."