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Restaurant business slows suddenly-Is it True?

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Todays San Jose Mercury says, "diners had to book far in advance to get into a top restaurant last year-this year -you can get in just about anyplace-anytime"Even the French Laundry gets mentioned as an easy booking.Is the media distorting things once again?Anybody got comments on the"crowd factor" in their favorite places?

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    Leslie Brenner

    It's definitely the case where I am, in New York City, Duke. The slow-down started some months ago.

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    1. re: Leslie Brenner

      This is extremely true everywhere. Being in the industry, it is a common topic and we all feel it has to do with the stock market, energy crisis and lop-sided pollitics. . . all perdictable. I live in Napa & you can find your way into any place other than the French Laundry (folks still will pay for a special "have you been there" outing.)more now than ever before. I'm so happy about this, myself. It brings the reality of dining out into a larger spectrum. Dining out should be simplier than it is, in my opinion and eating out a definite high-point in your day. The crunch makes all restaurant owners pay close attention. Without consumers, they are sh** outta luck.

      1. re: Lucy Gore

        A stat that blew by my screen estimated that national restaurant revenues in April were up 1.3% over the prior year, however, that is the smallest year-to-year increase in 2001.

    2. What do they know about fancy eating in San Jose???

      1. Well, As you can see from the post down below regarding FL, it's still hard as he** to get a reservation. However, I personally have noticed that it is slightly easier to get into some of the SF-proper restaurants (Belon, Bacar, Masa's, etc) then it has been for awhile. Interesting that it has affected New York as well. I guess when the Nasdaq affects how much money you feel you have, it can run in corrolation. I know I feel a lot poorer than last year!! LOL. I wouldn't want to be opening a new restaurant in this current climate.