USA Today posted a story today regarding the actions that the national casual chains (like TGI Friday’s and Applebee’s) are taking to combat the recent slump in sales.

I wasn’t aware of a national slump in casual restaurant sales, and I try to follow these things pretty closely.  It does make sense, though, with the overall slowing of the economy.

I am curious as to how this is affecting the local restaurants, but I haven’t heard anything through the grapevine.  The local independents would more likely chalk it up to the summer slump that is typical for Richmond.  (Richmonders tend to leave town for summer vacation at a rate that exceeds vacationers coming to Richmond.)

One Thought on “Slump in Casual Restaurant Sales”

  • Yea, I often mistrust reports like this one, where it seems a particular news source is the only one to have reported a given issue. I dont doubt the existence of a slowdown, but I imagine it is in part due to the summer slumps that hit many businesses, and due to the cost of travel. People will go out and spend three times as much on eating out as eating in for the convenience and atmosphere, but not if it will cost them an extra $1.50 in gas to do it. Its a psychological thing.
    Also, I think, unlike the pharmaceutical field, the restaraunt business is very open to small business, and not ruled by national chains. I personally rarely go to an Applebees or similar establishment anymore, because there are so many better places to eat that are not chains. Its not that I dont like Applebees because its a chain, I just like the other restaraunts better. Atmosphere, food taste and variety, and even location all make a big difference to me. I think I would want to look further in to overall casual restaraunt sales, rather than use chain restaraunts as a bench-mark for the casual dining industry. It could just be a shift in the culture, not towards home cooking, but towards the mom & pop restaraunt.

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