Posh Eateries Uncork Deals in Downturn

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 29, 2009 5:18 AM CDT
A 6.7% drop in US travel expenditures in 2009 is expected to affect some restaurants.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – High-end eateries are rolling out three-course deals and wine specials to lure America's hungry in hard times, CNN reports. "A year ago, to be honest, I didn't have to hit that three-course menu at $35 a head," said a Manhattan restaurateur whose business is down 20%. "Now you have to." Restaurants are faring better than some businesses, but upscale establishments—especially ones that rely on tourists—are taking it hard.

Sample deals at fine restaurants include $5 soups and 25% off bottles of wine. Some establishments have opted to keep old prices but offer more for the same cost, or simply eliminate add-ons like corkage fees. "That is something that has been wildly successful just getting people in the door," said a restaurant spokeswoman. "We figure if people don't need to pay for wine, they'll spend more on food."