Quest Means Business   « Back to Blog Main
April 26, 2010
Posted: 1429 GMT

The economic downturn has hurt many sectors of business around the world, but the restaurant industry may have been one of the hardest hit.

Alain Ducasse is seen at his Tokyo restaurant.

Alain Ducasse is seen at his Tokyo restaurant.

Restaurants around the world have been suffering because of the recession and in January of this year a record 100 restaurants went out of business in the UK alone, according to the “Independent” newspaper.

Many of the world’s top chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, have had to close restaurants with Ramsay closing two of his London locations. Ramsay is also reported to have a overdraft of almost $15 million.

World famous French chef, Alain Ducasse has also had to put plans for a global expansion on hold because of the downturn.

In September 2009, celebrity chef Tom Aitkens put his flagship restaurant in London’s west end into administration. He re-opened the restaurant soon after, enabling him to clear more than $5 million in debt.

But it’s not just the upscale restaurateurs that are feeling the pinch of the global financial crisis.

Many mid-range and inexpensive eateries are being affected, with many of them closing over the past 18 months.

We want to know what you think.

How has the economic downturn affected your eating habits? Are you eating out less? Are restaurants with $200 a head averages just too much?

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Filed under: Business •Quest Means Business

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Theresa Beard   April 26th, 2010 2:38 pm ET

Oh yea. I can only afford to stand outside and be victimized by less than intelligent police officers.

I've been eating $$$$ since I was a child. Ain't nothing gonna change. The world is still run by idiots.

Kilauea/Ariiteuira   April 26th, 2010 3:39 pm ET

yes my habit changed!! I eat out less at lunch time; most of the time i'll bring food from home; But on the other hand, i could never afford 200 dollars restaurant 's bill even before recess...I 'd rather save it for entertainment instead...

Alexander   April 26th, 2010 3:48 pm ET

Changed? I didn't eat much out to begin with but it has definitely affected my eating habits.

ana petrov   April 26th, 2010 4:12 pm ET

No my habits aren´t changed. I buy the food at preparing food store same as before. I haven´t time / money (specially $200) / or just a habit to on a pilgrimage at the restaurant. So to conclude, when we talk about restaurants, the economic downturn hasn´t affected on me!

Trevor   April 26th, 2010 4:18 pm ET

It hasn't really change any of our family's habits. Then again I would never waste 200 dollars on a meal. No food is that good. It all turns to $%&# anyway.

Gregory K   April 26th, 2010 4:40 pm ET

It seems that Economic downturn has become a very good excuse for every business that is doing badly , including Restaurants.
We must accept the fact that maybe there are other reasons like bad management , or bad quality or anything else !!!
In my opinion restaurants close because people are aware mostly these days about the quality and healthiness of the food that is served.
They are more educated about nutrition , vitamins and how to prepare a healthy dish than the old days. So they prefer to prepare their own food instead of trust someone else even if is a celebrity chef.
Most of restaurants try to attract people by cooking complex and well presented dishes and ignore the healthy part .
Time has changed gentlemen , Readjust to the new world !

marie   April 26th, 2010 5:27 pm ET

Gregory K has his head in the sand or rather he is an investment banker with a steady flow of cash and never been an entrepreneur trying to keep a business afloat. No business can flourish after 2 years of what has happened in this economy, no matter how tight a ship it is. Our small business (not a restaurant) is surviving, barely, but only with practically bankrupting our personal finances. We consider survival at this time a success and certainly it has changed our eating habits in restaurants. I would think, however, that for those who ate habitually in $200 a head restaurants, the impact is less.

PRIMO RODRIGUEZ   April 26th, 2010 5:42 pm ET

200 a head are we going to the shrink?

Ruth in Ohio   April 26th, 2010 5:48 pm ET

$200.00 for a meal...are you people you know how much in groceries I can buy?...I want to know what these people do for a living eating in restaurants that cost this much....I agree with Theresa...this world is run by idiots,and they all work in the government!

Rachel   April 26th, 2010 6:31 pm ET

How many people really spend that kind of money each time they eat out? How large is that demographic? For me, yes, I do eat out less than I used to. I think the recession has encouraged people to be smarter with their money and save more. Eating out is a luxury, and luxuries are the first to go when things get tight.

zacatecas_guy (twitter)   April 26th, 2010 9:28 pm ET

ohh ! quest ! is true ! i cant eat anymore tons and tons of chocolate ship cookies , pepsi, instant pizza and soup ! ohh my,,! and its because my work on the data network is no longer possible by changes on the system and nobody needs me anymore, everything was a mess ! is going to the ,,, anyway,, at least richard quest can eat many many instant pizza with pepsi right ? take care quest !

Jasmine Turner   April 28th, 2010 1:54 pm ET

Our home business was really affected by the Economic recession, we have to cut jobs just to cover up our losses. fortunately, we have already recovered. `

Smith in Oregon   May 10th, 2010 12:00 am ET

It is entirely refreshing given the horrific heavy crude Oil spill gushing in the once pristine Gulf of Mexico that Media and Public discussion has turned to the huge ongoing grievous harm that Petrol-Chemicals have done to ALL Americans and ALL humans living and breathing on earth.

For many years I have complained sometimes loudly that 'we' are being bathed in carcinogenic chemicals in the air and in our food as a result of Big Oil, Big Coal and Big on burning fossil fuels.

These carcinogenic chemicals cause a wide range of diseases which impact all humanity on earth and cost Americans an enormous amount on resulting Health Care just dealing with those suffering directly and indirectly from chronic exposure to Petro-Chemicals.

How many millions were chronically exposed and poisoned by LEAD when Big Oil placed Lead in Gasoline for decades? Everyone knew blackberry's and fruit that grew along the roads in America were heavily contaminated with LEAD.

Was Big Oil sued and forced to pay for millions of infants and adults suffering from chronic LEAD poisoning? Of course not, they owned the courts and most of the Republican lawmakers.

How many millions were chronically exposed and poisoned by Wood Alcohol which former President Big Oil Bush sr. ordered to add to Gasoline? Wood Alcohol is a known carcinogen and a strong poison in aquifers and ground water across America became contaminated with Wood Alcohol as a result.

Was Big Oil sued and forced to pay for millions of infants and adults suffering from Wood Alcohol poisoning? Of course not, they owned the courts and most of the Republican lawmakers.

Imagine the same Republican lawmakers entirely outlawing and banning many recreational drugs whose LD50 toxicity is so large it is practically impossible to ingest a life threatening amount, AND yet those same corrupt lawmakers and jurists declare it is fine for their Big Oil and Big Coal primary donors to pour, spew and produce enormous amounts of extremely toxic chemicals which end up in your food, in the air you breath and in the water YOU drink!

The current system of vastly corrupt laws and regulations places the burden on the government to prove that a chemical is unsafe before it can removed from the market. The standards are so high, the government has been unable to ban chemicals such as asbestos, a widely recognized carcinogen that is prohibited in many other countries.

About 80,000 chemicals are in commercial use in the United States, but federal regulators have assessed only about 200 for safety.

Big Pharma's products that are being flushed down the toilets across America and around the world are poisoning everyone downstream whose local and city water supply's depend on that fresh water.

Mother's milk is increasingly being ever more contaminated with dangerous Petro-Chemical's. For decades Big Oil and Big Coal have been protected from laws and regulations which would force them to deal with the results of their products. Force them to pay for the damage they cause and the diseases that result.

Mothers across America and around the world should stand up against Big Oil and Big Coal and demand they and their toxic chemicals be held entirely accountable for any and all ill effects they produce and contribute to the infant and human condition.

Christian Louboutin   June 10th, 2010 7:29 am ET

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