Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 2
http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/CollegeAndFamily/RaiseK...

For a while last summer, it looked like the moderates might win the tug of war for the minds and stomachs of American diners.

The culinary arms race of ever-larger portions had started to taper off, "supersize" became a dirty word, and commodity prices, including those of many basic ingredients, were skyrocketing.

But then consumers began slamming the brakes on spending. Restaurants, by nature a discretionary splurge, started feeling the pinch. Third-quarter same-store sales -- sales at stores open at least a year -- were down 2.5% at full-service restaurants, according to market research firm Technomic.

To compete in a newly cutthroat landscape, restaurant-management companies are turning to that relic of retirement-community buffets and 1980s-era Las Vegas: the all-you-can-eat plan.

In recent months, several nationwide casual-dining brands have included all-you-can-eat pricing options on their menus, and there's evidence that local chains and mom-and-pop eateries are also running promos encouraging customers to belly up to the trough. Pancake purveyor IHOP offered all-you-can-eat buttermilk pancakes for 5 bucks, and seafood chain Red Lobster rolled out an all-you-can-eat shrimp deal.

The tactic is a bid to keep newly budget-minded customers from defecting to the drive-through. Such trading down is a perennial thorn in the side of casual sit-down restaurants during downturns, although they try to lure fine-dining customers to trade down themselves. The marketing director for Cici's, a Coppell, Texas, pizza chain that operates entirely on an all-you-can-eat model, says its customer feedback indicates that a growing number of diners are trading down from pricier eateries.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Hidey Ho piglets! How's this for on topic, i even have a reference to an eatery tele eats at. IHOP too. No bacon though, although i didn't read the whole article because it was making me hungry. I'm making cous cous tonite with chicken and other stuff, the things i have to do to make the golden goose happy. I know, i have very little.

2828
Print the post  

Announcements

When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.