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Tag Archives: recession

Famed NYC restaurant Tavern on the Green auctions its contents

Tavern on the Green prepares for auction By Elissa  Elan


Experts cautiously optimistic about the “restaurant industry’s fortune” in 2010

In recession, Vegas eateries can’t beat odds – from Newser

From mid-summer:

By Jason Farago| Posted Jul 15, 09 6:14 AM CDT

“(Newser) – Just a year ago, 25% of the country’s highest-grossing restaurants were in Las Vegas—where diners ran up $15,000 checks and tipped waiters with wads of C-notes. But now restaurants are closing, new construction languishes half-finished, and more than 5,000 food industry workers have lost their jobs. “It was gold, and suddenly it became fool’s gold,” one restaurateur tells the New York Times”.

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Restaurant sales still somewhat stagnant

From Nation’s Restaurant News:

Restaurants’ 3Q results likely to show slow sales

by Sarah Lockyer


As third-quarter earnings season begins this week with some of the largest restaurant companies reporting results, including McDonald’s, Brinker International and Chipotle, analysts are expecting slow sales and profits that are driven by cost cutting, much like the earlier quarters this year.

Despite comparisons to the third quarter last year, when sales dropped severely in the midst of the recession, restaurants have yet to see an uptick in customer visits or spending and are therefore still relying on depressed commodity and operating costs to drive earnings.

“Our October-to-date channel checks across the entire restaurant industry suggest another geographically broad-based negative same-store-sales deceleration across all categories despite generally easier year-to-year comparisons,” said securities analyst Paul Westra at Cowen & Co. in New York.

He estimated same-store sales declines of about 100 basis points, or 1 percent, compared with the third quarter of last year.

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Waiters now need to be more resourceful than ever. As a waiter, you need to pursue every selling opportunity,  maximize every table, and utilize every skill in your toolbox. But never lose sight of the guest. They are your bread and butter and you don’t want to kill the goose that laid the golden egg. Be resourceful – don’t be greedy or rapacious.




NEW YORK (Oct. 19, 2009)

Foreign restaurants also hit by worldwide recession

Restaurant News Logo



Restaurant traffic woes a global problem

by Lisa Jennings

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y. (Aug. 25, 2009)

During the first quarter, foodservice traffic was down in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, and it was essentially flat in Canada.

Total spending at foodservice outlets declined during the first quarter in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain and the United Kingdom — though not in Canada or the United States, according to NPD, a Port Washington-based market research firm that tracks consumer dining habits.

American restaurant operators might think they had it bad in the first quarter this year, but research released Tuesday by The NPD Group indicates that foodservice outlets in Europe, Canada and Japan also suffered as consumers cut back on spending and restaurant visits. 

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Steakhouses work the bar angle to attract guests

Premium steakhouses are using expanded bar offerings, in both the food and drink realm, to bring guests back to their dining rooms and bars. They are offering smaller and less expensive variations on their normal fare, almost in a tapas style. They are also rolling out signature drinks in order to capture a younger demographic.













Morton’s has their “Power Hour” in selected locations. They have some value-priced $5 glasses of wine, $7 “Mortini’s” (selected Martinis, Cosmopolitans and Mojitos) and they are offering $6 “bar bites”, including miniature crab cakes, trios of little burgers, four tiny filet mignon “sandwiches” and “iceberg wedge bites”.










The Palm Steakhouse has upped the ante with their “Prime Times Bites” bar menu. They also have trios of “sliders”, theirs being Kobe beef. They have a smaller version of their massive fried calamari bowl, plus they have mini crab cakes, a trio of steak “capri” sliders (steak, basil and mozzarella) and little Philly steak bites. Prices range from $7 to $12  but from 5-7pm and after 9pm, they sell for the unheard of price of $3.50 (three Kobe beef sliders for only about 50 cents more than Krystal or White Castle burgers?!!??) They have also done an upscale makeover of the look of their bar tables . This is rolling out nationwide as I write this, having been tested in certain locations.








Fleming’s Steakhouse has their “5 for $6 ’til 7” promotion in their bar. For $6, they have 5 premium cocktails, 5 value priced wines and 5 appetizers such as “tenderloin carpaccio”, seared ahi tuna and “wicked cajun barbecue shrimp”. This is served from 5pm to 7pm.

These are examples of fresh thinking in the steakhouse sector. They augment the usual summer special dinner deals that chains have been offering during their slower months and are intended to expand their demographic.

How things have changed since 2005 when Nation’s Restaurant News ran an article entitled “Big high-end steakhouse chains are primed for 10% growth”. Here’s a snippet of that optimistic report:

“Demand for high-end steakhouses seems to have continued to rise in many markets across the country. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this in 25 years,’ said Dave Cattell, chief development officer for Ruth’s Chris, the 86-unit chain based in Metairie, La. ‘There are lots of opportunities, and I don’t see any end in sight.’ “.

You can access the rest of the article here:;col1