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how is business???

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
has anyone here noticed a substantial decrease in business? anyone here still feel its business as usual?
post #2 of 23
Bread manufacturers are having a great time!
Folks will give up steak and caviar but never a good (cheaper) PBJ!
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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post #3 of 23
Our student operated restaurant lost about 50% of our business starting a month ago. At first I thought it was something we had done or were failing to do. We adjusted our menu to create more teenage friendly meals such as Southern pan fried chicken and made from scratch Pepperoni pizza. We lowered our prices. We offered "value meals" combining a plated special with a small beverage. We gave our run of the mill flame grilled burgers a "face lift" by offering specialty burgers such as a double bacon cheese burger or "meat lover's burgers" (chicken fried steak, bacon, cheese, and a flame grilled burger). We even acquired a large capacity blender and began introducing milk shakes.

Business went up 30% but try as we might, we're still down 20% in daily sales from where we were over a month ago.

In talking to local restaurant owners, I've come to understand that it's the economy. While the rest of the country is talking about a recession, my local area is headed for a depression.

The local copper mining company is suffering because with worldwide reduced industrial production, there is less need for copper. Last month, all contractors were laid off. Last week, 400 employees were also let go. Word is out that the mining company will still be cutting employees and the ripple effect through the local economy has been horrendous.

Retail sales are down. Seasonal employers like Wal-Mart are hiring at vastly reduced rates. People aren't eating out as much as they used to. In my case, parents are either packing brown bag lunches for their kids or since high school kids have an hour off for lunch, the kids are simply going home for a quick meal.

Some of our local businesses have already failed. Others will probably fail unless our overall economy starts to recover ... but with a global recession, I don't think we'll be recovering any time soon ... so it's going to get a lot worse locally before it gets better.

As bad as it is here, can you imagine what will happen if the big three automotive companies go down? Central Michigan will be hit worse than it was in the early 80's. I remember seeing bumper stickers back then that read, "Will the last person leaving Michigan please turn out the lights?"

When the automotive industry slumped in the early 80's, there was a huge ripple effect through the state economy. Supermarkets, retail stores, parts suppliers, and so forth were shutting down. As families moved away, entire schools were closed down and teachers were laid off.

The automotive industry is now talking about bankruptcy. GM is said to only have enough cash reserves to last for a few more months. Although a bankruptcy won't necessarily kill these companies, (consider the precedent of Pan Am and United Airlines which also went bankrupt but are sill operational), a bankruptcy will still have a huge impact on the economy.

I'm really quite thankful to be a culinary arts teacher. Since our restaurant is non-profit, I only need to break even on food production costs.
post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 
its not localized, thats what most are preparing for it seems...
post #5 of 23

NJ Business

I am on the line at an upscale New Jersey Italian restaurant and business has slowed substantially in the past few months. Weekend nights are still red hot, but it seems that people are becoming more frugal when it comes to eating lunch out or going out during the week. Let's hope it doesn't last!
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
thats what i am noticing as well, lunch and weekday crowds have decreased... but date night and weekend seems to be business as usual.
post #7 of 23
Here it is seasonal, but since last year same day comparisons are down, Weekday about 24% weekends about 4%. Mcdonalds is up about 8% for year to date. supermarket prepared foods are up about 3%. Liquor sales up about 3 to 4 %, the worse things get the more people drink to drown their sorrows. Unenployment in Palm Beaches I would say 1 1/2 times last year. Hardly any rest. or hotel jobs in paper. Breakers Hotel last week laid off 200-250 employees. Not Good. :(:(
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
mcd and wmt are doing well... they attribute the mcd to the dollar menu and overall low cost and wmt bc of their competitively priced food and clothing.
post #9 of 23
many non-profits are going for the lowest bid.....many in the past would hit the middle of the line, now it's the lowest one.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
mcd sales up another 7.7% (at established locations) due to low prices and poor economic times... i have to admit i was part of this, i had a coupon for 20 mcnuggets for ~$3.00, had to take advantage of that.
post #11 of 23
i work for two restaurants, the one i work at in the morning is at an upscale hotel and business has dropped like you wouldn't believe. But my evening job were still banging out 100 plus a night. Last night we did over three hundred covers, but this place has been doing this since it opened over two years ago.
post #12 of 23
We now have 2 restaurants. One we have had for years now, it serves lunch and is also used as a premesis for our catering kitchen. We had the best October and November in 3 years. I think the high price of gas kept people who might have spent money for getting out of town on going out for lunch once a week instead.
We also opened an upscale reservation-only dinner place that had gotten off to a decent start. But then again its small and both myself and my spouse work it with a minimum of staff.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #13 of 23
I work in maufacuring and we have had our best year ever as a company. We are going to end the year 40% over last and its because we decided to concentrate on the prepared meals and snack segments and got out of food service and retail completely. the company made the change 2 years ago when they hired me(it was one of the reasons they brought me on) and we have been on the incline since. The directional change was the best move that they could have made. The company CEO said this was going to happen 18 months ago when we made the pitch to the owner and he hit it right on the money.
Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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Taste: The sensation derived from food, as interpreted thru the tongue to brain sensory system.
Flavor: The overall impression combining taste, odor, mouthfeel and trigeminal perception.
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post #14 of 23
I ran into a friend yesterday at Restaurant Depot....he just took over a Brewery/restaurant a couple of months ago.....said he compared 2007 with 2008, so far food and beverage for the restaurant is pretty much the same, but banquets have decreased 67% over last year. HUGE. He said people are decreasing their budgets, what used to be a $3k chip and dip is now $900.

Another friend who owns an Irish Pub downtown says they are getting holiday parties where the company used to spend $30K for a caterer and now are popping $7-8k and holding it at the pub. Good for the pub, not so great for catering.

One of the top wedding cake bakers in town, says people are still ordering cakes but smaller ones. She openned up her shop for retail sales of pie on Fri and Sat. within 2 weeks they were blowing through 120+ pies in a weekend. $5 small, $10 large....10 varieties including cream, fruit, nut.
Just adjusting to the times.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #15 of 23
One must adapt, yes? Like my great uncles says, "tough times make a monkey eat peppers.":p

The wife's family went to celebrate one of the brothers b-day last night to McCormit and Shmicks <SP?>. Seven o'clock on a Saturday evening and it was only 2/3 full. I was suprised when birthday boy asked wifey to call THAT morning to make reservations for 20 (at 7pm) :lol:. I thought to myself "that aint gonna happen", maybe for nine o'clock... Well, she got us right in! I dunno if it is the restaurant, or a sign of the times. I guess peeps aren't spending $55+ a pop for dinner like they used to. :rolleyes:
Chile today, Hot Tamale!
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Chile today, Hot Tamale!
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post #16 of 23
Our dinner service has been hit maybe 20%, but we are moving to the middle of downtown Jan 2 which will be huge (cheaper lease, WAY more base, 1 block from Xcel center) so looking forward to that. Our bar has been even as far as volume goes, but truthfully I think that it is fewer people spending more. It seems like we are getting less of the two or three people after work for a drink now.
post #17 of 23
We have the unenviable (these days) position of beeing the most expensive restaurant in town. A town that has the highest unemployment in the State.

Yes, we are feeling it on the weekends.

As a result we're advertising lower cost specials and prix fixe specials. It has helped.

Xmas bookings are off and general customer counts as well. I think people are saving on high end restaurants to buy gifts.
www.saltyskitchen.com

恵守 世羽棲知安
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www.saltyskitchen.com

恵守 世羽棲知安
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post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
post #19 of 23
I'm seeing customer numbers down about 25% but per plate toatals up an average 22%. Don't know what to make of it. Fewer people spending more. Overall the gross is down about 9% from last year, with all things considered isn't bad I guess. Others around here are down more. Last week was really slow but this week is better. I overheard a lot of people saying their goal was to put nothing on their credit cards for Christmas, which means they used their extra cash and don't have money to go out. Hopefully that will change soon as they won't have the usual holiday bills coming in. We've also been having bad weather lately and the place is in the middle of nowhere.
post #20 of 23
I think I wanna come eat at your place one of these days... if I'm ever in the area of course.
post #21 of 23
The restaurant I work for is only open if there is an event, i.e. a hockey game and or a concert, so our guest count depends on how well our hockey team is doing or who is playing at the arena. With the superbowl however we will be open every day for lunch & dinner in the week leading up to the big game, the owner is hoping that brings a huge turn out. I hope so too, that means I make big $$$$.
post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
restaurant dining overall is down here as well, you can tell simply by parking. the streets have much more parking available, and there are hardly any waits even on saturday night for seats.
post #23 of 23
Well this is my first post on this site!
I guess you can say it is fitting for me to reply to this topic on slowing because normally I would be working and not searching the internet. As a Philadelphia restaurant chef I had a stellar end to 08' but the first of this year went to a grinding halt, although the next few weeks are starting to shape up nicely. I do feel that the economy has effected business a little. the customers are still coming out but their check average has gone down a little bit. I guess the next few weeks will be the prediction for the months ahead.
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