News from the Democratic and Republican National Conventions have dominated headlines in recent weeks, as hordes of attendees descended upon Philadelphia and Cleveland. Hosting a political convention always provides a significant boost for local economies, with tens of thousands of party loyalists (as well as media and protesters) coming to town. But during the conventions' off-hours, what are all these partisans doing?
Yelp data obtained by the Washington Post reveals what convention-goers in both cities searched for the most, and while some of it is exactly what you'd expect, there are definitely some surprises. To collect this data, "Yelp looked at the relative increase in number of searches for each business category in Cleveland during the RNC and in Philadelphia during the DNC as compared with searches in each city from a week prior."
During the RNC, searches for gay bars shot up by 45 percent compared to the previous week, which is pretty hilarious for a party whose platform supports gay conversion therapy. RNC attendees in Cleveland also looked to sate cravings for hot dogs, Greek food, burgers, ice cream, and, somewhat oddly, Hawaiian food.
So far during the DNC, it seems convention-goers are looking for booze, with searches for distilleries surging by 74 percent. Also: vegan food (a 33 percent increase), Mongolian barbecue, kosher food, and bagels, plus "adult entertainment" and karaoke.
Yelp's data doesn't say anything about searches for Philadelphia cheesesteaks, but it's safe to say DNC attendees are consuming plenty of those: Senator Elizabeth Warren was spotted chowing down at the legendary Pat's Steaks earlier this week. Philly's iconic sandwiches are a surprisingly partisan issue: Pat's has temporarily renamed its cheesesteaks after Bernie (with onions) and Hillary (without onions), with its owner telling Philadelphia magazine that Republicans go across the street to rival sandwich shop Geno's — which has a strict "English only" ordering policy.
• The Strange and Wonderful Things People Searched for During the Republican and Democratic Conventions [Washington Post]
• For Restaurants, Political Conventions Bring Obstacles and Opportunity [E]