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Is It Really The Cost of Gas?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Just got back from a week+ on North Carolina's Outer Banks. Didn't particularly notice a fall-off in visitation. But, according to some restauranteurs we spoke with, they're down, on average, about 30% so far this year.

A lot of that represents less weekend business. But it was a fairly rotten spring---cold and rainy---and that may have contributed. One suggested that long term visitors just aren't eating out as much. Instead of dining out four nights, they only go to restaurants two nights, and dine-in the other two to make up for higher gas prices.

Maybe. And maybe there are other causes. F'rinstance, we were out and about and stopped in at Dirty Dick's for a quick lunch. Now Dirty Dick's is nothing more than a crab shack masquarading as a restaurant. So our expectations weren't particularly high. But even so.....

We were seated. And we sat. And sat. And sat. Almost 15 minutes, and nobody even asked for our drink order. The hostess happened to pass, and we asked if any servers were working that day. "Oh," she said, kind of laxidazically, "haven't you been served? I'll try and find somebody." We told her not to bother, and left.

Is that getting to be typical? As things get tough is service getting worse rather than better? I have no idea. But it got me to thinking, and wondering if others are experiencing a similar fall-off in service levels?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #2 of 6
Sometimes, I think is totally unfair...

Try to imagine, if the oil price rising 30 cents per liter, how can the the restaurants or fast food stall also rises their food selling price 30 cents as well?

This will become a great burden, especially to middle income families.

Maybe this is what we called, Life...
post #3 of 6
If their economy depends on tourists, then gas prices are the reason. AAA have already released recent stats on the percentage of drivers being down across the country, and the number of vacation being down as well.
post #4 of 6
Not every restaurant has terrible service, or even bad service. It is the cost of gas. It's driving everything up and people just simply can't afford to go out to eat as much. I also think it's a lot of competition for certain areas of the country. There seems to almost be an eatery for every other person living nowadays.

As for my restaurant, you walk in and have a seat within seconds and have your food within ten minutes most of the time...

Honestly I haven't run into bad service in a really long time...the last bad service was at a very very very crowded applebees.
and at that point you have to expect longer waits and slower service.
People can only move so fast and I grant them that.

As long as I see people trying ...I'm still fine with waiting.

A long time ago somebody told me that it doesn't matter how long people wait. If the food is good enough people will wait forever.
A good example of that is this pizza joint in Arizona. They have 3 to 4 hour wait times for pizza, typically everyday.
The kicker is, The owner only serves 4 different types of pizza..and no special requests.
(forget the name of the place, it was featured on the food network one day)
He's my hero!

But as for the outer banks, I've been there several times and I will say that it's more of family orientated vacation spot..where a lot of people from the northeast buy houses there. Most people actually cook for themselves as they have nice beach houses with fully equipped kitchens.
Breakfast seems to be where it's at in the banks.
post #5 of 6
I know of many places that train their staff. They are not even allowed to wait on customer till they shadow an experienced waiter for monthes. Others dont give a darn. We used to say management went down to the Bowery with a big net and whomever was in it was hired. As long as it was a pair of hands,thats all that mattered. In Europe a waiter is a profession, here its just a job, and if not this place they will stumble down the street to the next. The customer suffers, and sometimes its their fault. If service is bad, or attitude bad we still tip, therefore we are rewarding for mediocraty. This is wrong. A tip is for exceptional service rendered.
true sometimes its not servers fault, but their attitude is all their fault.
post #6 of 6
I too think it is a combo. I would say truly , only half the time I get good service. Slow uninformed wait staff that makes it obvious they do not like their job is becoming very common for me here of late. I try to always be a good, polite customer, and if there is a problem, if they let me know there is going to be a delay, I am fine with that. But I hate it when they act as if me, the customer, should be happy that they will grace me with an appearance:(., and I should set their patiently while they finish up a conversation with the hostess, about what they did last night.

However, I was planning a trip to myrtle beach with a quick run through the outer banks this year, and had to cancel. With 2 kids in braces and another soon to be, our budget is screaming for mercy. It was going to be tight, and with the rise in gas prices, that was the final straw.
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