It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Red Lobster is trying to create the ambiance of a small, seaside town in Maine as it rolls out a three-year remodeling plan for its 700 U.S. and Canadian restaurants.
The seafood chain is the latest eatery to spruce up its menu, décor and architecture to lure consumers who can afford to eat out more frequently. With economists trimming growth forecasts and unemployment at 9.1 percent, restaurants are becoming increasingly dependent on households earning more than $70,000 to keep sales growing, according to Malcolm Knapp, a New York-based consultant who has monitored the industry since 1970.
“We’ve really become an ‘allocation nation,’ where every month, people look at what’s left from their paycheck and decide how they’re going to spend that money,” said Knapp, creator of the Knapp-Track Index of monthly restaurant sales and guest counts. “Restaurants are re-conceptualizing their brands to appeal to a broader demographic.”
Americans in lower-income brackets have been forced to cut back on dining out to live within their means, according to Robert Dye, senior economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh. Real disposable incomes, the money left over after taxes and adjusted for inflation, are essentially flat since December 2010, he said. Meanwhile, more-affluent households are benefiting from higher dividend payments and earnings from rental properties, which have grown 10 percent and 20 percent, respectively, since the September 2009, Bloomberg data show.
“More and more, restaurants are competing for a slice of a pie that’s not getting any bigger,” Dye said.
Originally posted by Rockpuck
reply to post by silent thunder
The smart thing to do (what do I know I studied history not business!) would be to LOWER prices. If every "upscale" (I would enter here a rant toward ANYONE who considers the likes of Red Lobster to be upscale...... but I won't) restaurant is trying to take a piece of the pie that is 70k+ income earners .. would it not make sense to market your goods towards people who CAN afford your product?
Personally I like going out on the weekends. I hate chain restaurants though, especially olive garden, red lobster, outback etc .. their prices have increased nearly double in a 8 year period. I pay sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less to go to locally owned places. Sometimes you find a wonderful little hole in the wall restaurant or gastro-pub (a pub like atmosphere with gourmet food) that not only is cheaper but taste a thousand times better. Luckily where I live there are a lot of people that support non-chain businesses of all kinds. I try and drink wine made in state, beer made in the city, groceries where the meat, milk and vegies came from farms I could drive to, coffee stands owned and operated by my neighbors (literally), restaurants you can't find anywhere else, and I admit I only go to walmart for cat food.
Small businesses employ more people than corporations, and they also pay quadruple the taxes.. so everyone should be conscience about where they put their dollar. Do you want it to stay where you live, supporting your friends and neighbors .. or send it to China, or corporate coffers in a far away place?