? restaurant/catering slowdowns?

Joined Apr 19, 2001
Since I came onto the site after September 11, maybe my question has been asked and answered earlier, but I'm curious, so here goes -

Living in the tri-state NY/NJ/CT area, all the 'big' restaurants are saying how slow they are since the WTC tragedy; on the other hand, the smaller, 'community' restaurants seem to be booming!

Catering here on the other hand, is way down; here in NJ, I've had folks tell me they're down 25-50% from last year.

Is it the economy - or people afraid to go to the big city places - or people just 'cacooning' more and not going out as much?

I'm curious as to whether chefs/caterers in other parts of the country/world are experiencing the same situations?

thanks in advance! Jackie
Joined Oct 28, 1999
Speaking for the corporate sector in this area, we are down at some units 75%! The smallest impact I have heard is down 50%. I think this is in response to the shrinkging economy and not wanting to host ellaborate holiday events while employees hours/wages are being cut.
Joined Mar 4, 2000
My experience is with clients in Greenwich, CT---hardly a typical American town. The regular clients we've always had are still throwing big elaborate events, but catering has slowed down in terms of new clients. All in all, this quarter did substantially worse than in previous years.


Staff member
Joined Oct 7, 2001
We are way down for the year. The holiday season has been pretty uneventful as far as Decembers go. But, I feel that this is only a temporary situation. This may be the slowest December my company has ever had, but already, April is looking to be a very strong month, so I think that people are trying to get back to normal and companies see this economic downfall as a short term thing. I think that people are wanting to get back to normal, and if holiday shopping is any indicator then the economy may already be starting to pick itself up. I was trying to do a little shopping today, and every place I was at was packed solid. I even had to wait 10 minutes in the Express check-out of the supermarket.
Joined Sep 21, 2001
Out west things aren't any better. September was a disaster, In retrospect, we could have closed the week of Sept. 11 and lost less money than we did... Our lunch biz is down from last year, along with more expensive Christmas parties. Our only sector that is holding on is the less expensive Christmas parties, but they don't make up for the lack of high rollers.
But I am happy to say no-one is getting hours cut, and everybody got a Christmas bonus.
Joined Jun 28, 2001
Here in Se Georgia we are down like 10-15% at my restaurant.
This is always a slow time of year anyway, but we are still down.

The weather has been good so it has helped a little (highs have been in the upper 70's- mid 80's lately)
This is a big resort town, and buisness at Sea Island's Cloister Hotel is way down(rumors of less than 30% occupancy lately---thats got to hurt)

So it looks like a combination of things to me.

Just my 2 cents

Joined Nov 29, 2001
It didn't take September 11 to drop business like a hot rock here. I live in an extremely rural area where the poor outnumber the middle-class and rich by a great margin. Here, people open a can of pinto beans and call it a wedding. As far as these Jethroes are concerned, the destruction of the Twin Towers happened in another country. They're oblivious.

It doesn't surprise me that restaurant biz is down in New York - people are re-examining priorities. Let's face it, if you're not putting in 20 hour days because you've all of a sudden realized the value of your family, you can't order out from the local shee-shee restaurant to the tune of $22 a plate. People who normally spend all their time chained to computers are figuring out that they should be HOME more. They feel they've invented the wheel. That's fine by me, although I had it figured out way before the tragedy that my family is/was/always will be the focus of my life. Perhaps some of these high powered execs are opting for Hamburger Helper with their families at night??

Perhaps this is partially responsible for the dent in NY restaurant biz?
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