The NY Times again digs into what restaurants are doing around the country to cope with the financial crisis. In some ways, nimble independents have a leg up on the chains in this economy.
“You just need to be flexible and to realize that people are on more of a budget,” he said. “You have to keep up your attention to detail because a tired restaurant will drive customers away, especially now.”
That sort of flexibility has so far helped independent restaurants avoid the problems of full-service chains, some of which have gone bankrupt and most of which have seen sales fall.
And the special-occasion spots may fare the worst.
I’ve talked to a couple of restauranteurs locally who have also mentioned a drop in sales. One owner south of town said sales are down about 20%. Another downtown mentioned being down 20% for October, but attributed much of that drop to lost business during the Roots ‘n Blues festival and high-profile Mizzou football games on primetime television. Overall he says they’re down about 5%.
Whether five or twenty or somewhere in between, it’s clear restaurants are going to have to be more flexible and thrifty than ever. One more reason I’m not in the game.