This year, the one we’re saying good bye to, has been a major gut check experience. We learned a lot about ourselves as we changed our spending patterns. We became savers! Unheard of!
In our saving mentality, we started to cook more, eat at home more, and dine out differently. No longer was every restaurant meal one that approached stratospheric prices. We welcomed new places that promised better buys, greater attention to our needs, not just THEIR bottom line. We patronized new burger spots and bistros, the types of restaurants that succeed during tough times.
Big-name chefs figured it out and rearranged menus and moved into this dining space. Why not? Customers were receptive. Tables were full. The price was right: A perfect solution to wanting to dine out but refusing to spend 4-star dollars.
If chefs like Daniel Boulud (Daniel and DBGB Kitchen & Bar), Laurent Tourondel (BLT Steak and BLT Burger), Danny Meyer (Union Square Hospitality and Shake Shack), and Michel Richard (Citronelle and Central Michel Richard) are flipping burgers; there’s a good reason for their aggressive moves: Dining Dollars talk. It’s not that their fancy restaurants sit empty; it’s just more likely that diners can opt for frequent burger or bistro stops several times a month!
So much of the year was spent saying, “Don’t worry, it’s almost over.” The elusive elephant has never really left the room. The economy has improved but more people are on the breadline. We want everything to be better; we want to return to the more carefree universe that gave us tacit permission to eat out and carry in without as much anxiety about our decisions.
We welcome the Burger and Bistro approach.
The lines are long.