We went out to dinner tonight (Fri.) and it wasn't even crowded!

United States
October 10, 2008 8:41pm CST
I was surprised that one of our best restaurants in town wasn't even crowded tonight, and it's Friday night. I just couldn't believe it, this restaurant is usually packed with people who are willing to wait an hour or more for dinner. We just walked right in and got seated. I don't think that's ever happened to me before at this restaurant. Have you noticed your restaurants being empty these days, with the economy the way it is? Perhaps you've seen other changes, that people aren't spending as much money. Tell us about it.
8 responses
@sunnflr (2767)
• United States
11 Oct 08
Everything's still full around here. Eating out is a favorite pasttime in our neck of the woods. Glad you got in fast!
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Oct 08
Good for everyone living in your area. I've heard that there are "pockets" all over the US where they aren't feeling the economic downturn, which is amazing to me. Our real estate market has flatlined, jobless rate has broken all the records, and nobody is spending money or eating out. Well, hardly anybody. It does make it easier for those of us still doing a little of those things though.
@sunnflr (2767)
• United States
13 Oct 08
Well, where we live has a low income level anyhow..I believe Alabama is the fourth poorest state. I'm sure there are some here who feel it more than others, but I've always heard the poorer you are the longer it takes to impact you.
@Shellyann36 (11563)
• United States
11 Oct 08
Yes I have seen the same happen here. Nice restaurants open up but cannot stay open because no one can afford them. We had 2 new restaurants open here this summer. One is an Italian place and one is a steak place. The italian place is open quite a bit but I do not see that much business there. The steak place just cut back the hours of operation due to no business. I think the steak place might have been too expensive for this area. I live in a small town. Most people are looking for cheaper meals and going for the buffet instead of the more expensive places.
• United States
12 Oct 08
Hi Shellyann36. That's a bummer when new restaurants open up and then have to close. The economy is hitting everyone pretty hard, that's for sure. We try to patronize the places we really like. We don't really eat fast food, except Subway very occasionally. I was definitely surprised to see the restaurant we ate at with so few patrons on a Friday night.
@nangel78 (1458)
• United States
11 Oct 08
It does not surprise me with the economy being the way it is. My husband and I will split meals sometimes to save money if we go out on occasion. Gas and other things are just so expensive now. Many peoples' wages are not keeping up with the way prices on everything keep going up.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Oct 08
Yes, the economy is about as bad as it's ever been in my lifetime. I am waiting for the time when it starts to turn around. I hope that comes soon. It's very smart to split meals out and I do think restaurants are more willing to accommodate people who request to split meals. Gas has been so very high but the last couple of weeks, the price has actually dropped. Even so, it's still much higher than what it was a couple of years ago. It sure makes it difficult for alot of people to just survive, when the wages don't go up at times like these.
@Opal26 (17684)
• United States
11 Oct 08
Hey pearl! I haven't been out to dinner in so long I would have no idea what it's like! But, I have heard that things are not going to well for the restaurants from the news and from the facts that alot of popular restaurant chains have gone out of business. I know that Bennigans and Steak & Ale which they owned went out of business. I can see that alot of the local retaurants around where I live are slowly closing up too. My girlfriends boyfriend works in a restaurant next to one of Trump's buildings in a large city near where I live and after the last few weeks there was a large drop in customers coming in so they have cut his days and hours and this was an extremely busy and popular Italian restaurant. So everyone is feeling this recession and not going out and spending money if they can help it and dining out sure is something that people don't have to do if they don't have the money.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Oct 08
Hello Opal! Sorry to hear you haven't been out to dinner but I understand why. This economy sure is tough right now. People and businesses are both struggling. Sorry to hear about Bennigans. We don't have one down here but did have one in central Illinois where we used to live. Their food was consistently good and I always enjoyed eating there. I've heard alot of people are getting laid off and getting hours cut. You are exactly right: people can save alot of money by not eating out. That's one good place a person can really trim their spending budget. We go out about twice a week, usually Wednesdays and Fridays or Wednesdays and Saturdays. We walk over for coffee and bagels at Dunkin Donuts usually 1 weekend morning a week. But if we had to, we could cut those things out. Hang in there. I'm hoping that after the election takes place, things will get better.
@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
11 Oct 08
My parents came to take us out to lunch and the same place my Dad and I went a few weeks ago that was empty was packed today. Honestly, I don't think most of the folks that live in my direct area are not that worried about money or their jobs. However, they know when to stop spending. I go to barnes and noble a lot just to wander around and they have been pretty empty.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Oct 08
I guess it depends on what area of the US you live in. I live way south and the real estate market has flatlined. It's bad. Sounds like you are experiencing some mixed results in your community. Take care.
@mrsbrian (1950)
• United States
11 Oct 08
I have noticed just last weekend when we went to town the streets that are usually crowded with weekend shoppers and such, were bare,it really felt so strange to see hardly any traffic out for a big city on the weekend. Also the stores like walmart are not as crowded as they used to be, we went to the mall and its foot traffic was way down also. I know my grandson runs pizza and there business is down also.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Oct 08
It sure is odd to see places that are usually bursting at the seams to be almost empty. This restaurant we went in is probably the most popular and successful restaurant in our town. I mean, before, there wasn't an evening during the week when it wasn't packed with people waiting. Carrabba's being that empty really showed us how serious the economic downturn is. Hope the shopping and other businesses in your area pick up soon. Take care and thanks.
@writersedge (22577)
• United States
11 Oct 08
Some of the restaurants are suffering here, but some aren't. We used to go to a seafood restaurant every Friday. Then I lost my job and got another that was less money . So we cut it to once a month. Then I lost that job and got one that was way less money and hours. We haven't been able to afford it since.Impossible to leave there with less than $24. WE have a Homestyle Diner with a $3.99 menu. The place is often packed. They buy in bulk and prepare it well. They've been doing a better business. Take care.
• United States
13 Oct 08
Sorry to hear your restaurants are also suffering. It's not much fun to have to keep cutting and cutting your entertainment budgent. Hope that changes soon. The Homestyle Diner sounds like it's a hit, though. Good for them. They found their niche. I wonder if we have any little, less expensive restaurants around here that we haven't tried? Thanks.
@Thoroughrob (11748)
• United States
13 Oct 08
I know that we are not eating out and have noticed that the parking lots are not as full.
• United States
13 Oct 08
It was really kind of surprising to see this restaurant not have people waiting on a Friday night. It's usually packed EVERY night of the week. So many people are struggling financially right now. Hope your situation improves soon. It would help if the country's economic situation would get better. Take care.