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Diners shun restaurants as
payroll tax hike hits

Bloomberg News, by Ana Louise Jackson and Anthony Feld

Original Article

Posted By:Fiesta del sol, 3/21/2013 6:54:13 AM

Restaurants are reeling from their worst three months since 2010, as American diners spooked by higher payroll taxes cut back on eating out. Sales at casual-dining establishments fell 5.4 percent last month, after declining 0.6 percent in January and 1.6 percent in December, according to the Knapp-Track Index of monthly restaurant sales. This was the first three months of consecutive declines in almost three years


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Attercliffe, 3/21/2013 7:01:46 AM     (No. 9236284)

Noticeable here in Charleston where the economy is not quite as bad as it is in other places. Fear of the future is to blame, plus higher restaurant prices and smaller portions (e.g., favorite local seafood place no longer includes cole slaw with the dish, it´s now a "side"). In other restaurants food quality has definitely gone down.

One standout--our local Denny´s has improved, surprisingly better menu, competitive prices.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: Bevan, 3/21/2013 7:23:50 AM     (No. 9236312)

Pretty soon only welfare and unemployment recipients will be able to afford to dine out.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: Rolfnader, 3/21/2013 7:44:18 AM     (No. 9236342)

Maybe the college grads waiting tables and washing dishes will someday regret voting for this mess. But Hey! We finally have married gays in the military!

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Reply 4 - Posted by: mitzi, 3/21/2013 8:20:27 AM     (No. 9236396)

Several of us get together every other week for late lunch - nothing fancy, just a local Manhattan restaurant.

We were just remarking this week - you´d never know that there was any economic problems. One of our favorite places is always crowded. We had to wait for a table last week.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: melman, 3/21/2013 9:02:00 AM     (No. 9236487)

Wait and see where prices go when they have to add in the Nobamacare surcharge. Unless they do like many and cut all thier staff to 20 hours a week or less to avoid paying for Nobamacare.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Sanspeur, 3/21/2013 9:12:44 AM     (No. 9236511)

#4..right on about some NYC places..but there are empty spaces now where trendy , forever restaurants are no more... I think folks ( to use prezzy´s term ) are looking for known value and those places survive still.. Here in the village a lot of marginal places never bothered to come back after Sandy . the emphasis, outside of destination tourist and big event dining is Italian, Chinese , less expensive pastas and short ribs , really jacked up wine and liquor costs too ... Lines for trendy pizza and gelato joints...

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Reply 7 - Posted by: pindarjr, 3/21/2013 9:30:07 AM     (No. 9236544)

Restaurants attracting fewer customers has been a fact of life long before the recent payroll tax hike kicked in, though those with safe, high paying jobs may not have noticed. As Bill O´Reilly commented, a year or two ago, during a discussion about the economy." Well, at least the restaurant business is still doing well. Why, just the other night, I gave a $20 tip to a busboy." Poor Bill hasn´t a clue how far he´s drifted from the his humble beginnings. The hotspots he and all the other elite people patronize are doing quite well; it´s the restaurants that cater to the middle class that have been taking a beating over the past 4-5 years. It´s people who have to live on some kind of a budget that cut down on dining out when their own income goes down. There is one bright spot however; even if Bill and his cohorts don´t have to live on a budget, at least our federal government is still obliged by law to write and adhere to one every year!

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Reply 8 - Posted by: hershey, 3/21/2013 10:39:43 AM     (No. 9236653)

I don´t know....every time I drive down the ´main´ road in our community, all the restaurants seem to be doing well...Bob Evans, Frisch´s, Pizza Hut, etc....

I´ve often remarked to my wife that you wouldn´t know there were problems to look at the parking lots....

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Reply 9 - Posted by: AltaD, 3/21/2013 10:54:20 AM     (No. 9236686)

We´ve cut back but it wasn´t because of the payroll tax hike. In our neighborhood two of our favorite restaurants have closed, one is closed but claims they´ll reopen (doubtful) and the two that are still open have raised prices while reducing the serving size. So we haven´t dined out locally in months thanks to the horrid economy in this very blue city in this blue state.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: privateer, 3/21/2013 2:29:33 PM     (No. 9237124)

It is time to bring back the Carter-Era "Misery Index" to keep track of the ObaMalaise.

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