Friday, February 10, 2017
The Highs Are Not as High and the Lows Seem to Get Lower
Let me explain. Twenty five years ago people use to go out and eat more in very expensive restaurants than the least expensive restaurants because back then only the people with money use to go out and eat. They had their 2 martini lunches and entertained clients trying to make that big deal and in the evening would gather together in the fancy dining rooms of hotels and order an expensive bottle of wine with their expensive meal. In other words you had to have money to go out.
Move ahead to today. Now it is not just the people with money who eat out but everyone does. Families now go out and bring their babies with them. Restaurants are abound to fit any pocket book. The low end restaurants are very busy more so than the high end restaurants because nowadays people eat out so often they cannot afford to eat in expensive restaurants. Unlike twenty five years ago there are Swiss Chalets, Harveys, Crabby Joes to name just a few that cater to the diner who cannot afford expensive bottles of wine.
What this means is that diners only will go out and spend a lot of money on a meal only if it is a special occasion. So the high end restaurants when it is slow like this week it is very slow and next week being Valentine's Day will be very busy. Then it will be slow again.
Meanwhile even if the low end restaurants are slow they still get the volume because most people like the fast food affordable low cost dining. Mostly because they do not have the time or patience to cook.
So there you have it and just like the Dollarama stores who now have shares in the triple digits and are taking over from the clothing and grocery stores soon the most popular restaurants will be the ones like Subway and Freshii where one can go in and order something nutritious for less than ten dollars.
It is a fact except in places like Las Vegas where people spend money in most places high end fine dining will become a dinosaur. It is a also a fact that people will eat out more and more and as their buying power dwindles they will have to eat in less expensive outlets.
Here is another fact I read and that was most millennial would rather hold off having kids or have none at all because they thought it was too expensive. Well perhaps if they got rid of their cell phone bill each month and cooked once in a while they would not find it so expensive.
I guess it just depends on one's perspective. What are our priorities? I myself prefer to eat out only once in a while that way it seems to be more of an event than a habit.
So being a waiter is getting to be a tough gig. Always saving for a rainy day. Make money today but put some away because the next day or week you never know. Perhaps as well because people eat out so much and can barely afford it they tip less in general. Ah, but that can be another post....
Radio talk show host of "The Hospitality Industry News Network" and author of "You Only Live Once" about his early years traveling around and working on ships and foreign countries Steven blogs about his thoughts on the restaurant industry as he sees it today.
Check out his web site at www.stevennicolle.com for more information.