Economy Wallops Lunches, Restaurants Feel Pinch

Eating a bagged lunch at your desk? You’re not alone. The toughening economy has more Americans brown-bagging it or eating at their companies’ cafeterias rather than at restaurants near the office.

And the restaurants are feeling it. From today’s Wall Street Journal:

Lisa Hall, owner of Kitchenette, two home-style eateries in New York City, recently added an incentive for frequent patrons: For every 10 sandwiches a customer buys, they get the next one free. The goal is to boost revenue with additional sales. “We can charge an extra 25 to 50 cents, but that doesn’t even halfway cover the extra costs we are being charged,” she says.

Nick Liuzzi, owner of Samantha’s Trattoria in New York City’s Battery Park, typically caters to brokers and banker-types. But, as those industries suffer, Mr. Liuzzi estimates that the Italian delicatessen has seen a 15% to 20% drop in lunchtime traffic since last year.

Economy Wallops Lunches, Restaurants Feel Pinch