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Discretionary spending?


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I'm also of the opinion that we've not even started to see the effects of the economic recession on the real economy. And I'm afraid the restaurant industry is a mere champagne cork that's about to be launched into this particular ocean.

I'm of the same opinion concering the economic situation; it has hardly begun to hit the consumer, although their spending has been curbed since the end of the summer. The situation is going to get much worse and will be very long-lasting as corporate investment has collapsed, unemployment will continue to rise, the government will have serious fiscal issues and public spending will have to be cut - there is very little left to fuel the econoy other than a long and thorough cleaning of the system.

I can honeslty say that across the board the restaurant sector is beginning to feel the pain. Only Friday i spoke to a wholesaler who is downsizing the team in his warehouse, and everyone in the industry i speak to is very disappointed by September figures. Personally i mentioned a few weeks ago that getting a table at the Ledbury that same morning was not a problem, and likewise a friend mamaged to book Chez Bruce and Royal Hospital Road with 1 day's notice - something unheard of over the last few years. Special circumstances aside, and individual places aside, the restaurant industry is less busy than last year. Even the US has been reducing the volume of quality food imports since August from UK suppliers.

They big uncertainty at the moment is Christmas...will it be very good, good, or really crap...the latter will be serious for many businesses who live off of that season.

edit: haven't confirmed it bu ti was told that the Nobu restaurant Ubon in Canary Wharf has shut in the last few days...

Edited by CheGuevara (log)
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haven't confirmed it bu ti was told that the Nobu restaurant Ubon in Canary Wharf has shut in the last few days...

True, but planned. You can form your own opinions about whether they will come through with the plan to open branch No.3 in central London.

I won't bore you with the details, but there's a couple of interesting rumblings in the economic data right now. Mortgage payments are up c.40% for the many folk who can't find a new deal once their bonus rate resets, for example, while the proportion of savings to income has started to tick higher.

Historically, when people have accepted the inevitable and stopped spending more than they earn, that's the time to nail up the windows.

Edited by naebody (log)
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edit: haven't confirmed it bu ti was told that the Nobu restaurant Ubon in Canary Wharf has shut in the last few days...

Yes I heard the same last week, and it was immediately blamed on Lehmans by their acting manager. Somehow, I don't think so - you don't shut within hours of a local failure.

A shame: Ubon was a way of having the same food as Nobu but without snotty pretentious staff so far up themselves I'm surprised they weren't choking on their own egos, and pathetically short table turning to go with it. And Ubon had better portion sizes too.

H

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The only noticeable difference over this last few months for a tiny independant like me is a massive drop in bottled water sales and a lot of house wine being sold.

Oddly enough our September and first week of October were well up on last year against a pretty awful July and August (except rooms) which I primarily blame on the crap weather. Number of people in is up and spend per head is holding. However I'm not counting my chickens yet......there is a long long winter ahead.

PB

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.... a massive drop in bottled water sales.....

Tighter budgets will be one factor, but this may well be driven more strongly by the high profile campaigns by the likes of The Evening Standard (the local paper in Padstow?) to get restaurants to serve tap water, and how bottled water has featured in the "food miles" debate.

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I wonder how Ramsay is feeling at the moment.

probably a lot worse now kaupthing has just been placed in administration

Just in case anyone's losing sleep:

A spokeswoman said: "Gordon Ramsay Holdings would like to clarify that the company moved all of its corporate banking from Kauphing Singer Friedlander to the Royal Bank of Scotland 10 weeks ago."

Link

ETA: I'd be interested to hear from anyone who can clarify whether "all its corporate banking" means all the debt or just an account and a bridging loan (see Ramsaywatch passim).

ETAA: To answer my earlier question, am told all debt lines were transferred to RBS so there was no Kaupthing exposure.

Edited by naebody (log)
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I wonder how Ramsay is feeling at the moment.

probably a lot worse now kaupthing has just been placed in administration

Just in case anyone's losing sleep:

A spokeswoman said: "Gordon Ramsay Holdings would like to clarify that the company moved all of its corporate banking from Kauphing Singer Friedlander to the Royal Bank of Scotland 10 weeks ago."

Link

Looks like he's not just a pretty face then...

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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I wonder how Ramsay is feeling at the moment.

probably a lot worse now kaupthing has just been placed in administration

Just in case anyone's losing sleep:

A spokeswoman said: "Gordon Ramsay Holdings would like to clarify that the company moved all of its corporate banking from Kauphing Singer Friedlander to the Royal Bank of Scotland 10 weeks ago."

Link

ETA: I'd be interested to hear from anyone who can clarify whether "all its corporate banking" means all the debt or just an account and a bridging loan (see Ramsaywatch passim).

Why does this stuff always crop up in the Scottish papers and not down here? UK papers will print almost any cack they can stick a picture of his scrotal visage over yet I've never seen anything showing the slightest interest in the byzantine nature of his business.

OK. I know. It was rhetorical.

I, for one, will feel personally affronted if the failure of the Y&A gets blamed on global financial conditions rather than GRH ineptness.

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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True, but planned. You can form your own opinions about whether they will come through with the plan to open branch No.3 in central London.

tha's PR for me, otherwise the employees would not have been made redundant - the simple matter is that location is just not profitable enough for them, if at all. and the current situation in the financial sector is undeniably part of the decision.

I won't bore you with the details, but there's a couple of interesting rumblings in the economic data right now. Mortgage payments are up c.40% for the many folk who can't find a new deal once their bonus rate resets, for example, while the proportion of savings to income has started to tick higher.

Historically, when people have accepted the inevitable and stopped spending more than they earn, that's the time to nail up the windows.

the economic data is horrid - especially some of the more leading indicators coming from the manufacturing sector. yesterday it was announced that shipping activity has been cut in half in the last month and down 75% since the beginning of the summer; not even china seems willing to support our economy.

going back on topic - there is no doubt going to be a serious impact on the restaurnat industry, as eating out is one of the more costly activities which is easily substituted by eating at home.

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I wonder how Ramsay is feeling at the moment.

probably a lot worse now kaupthing has just been placed in administration

Just in case anyone's losing sleep:

A spokeswoman said: "Gordon Ramsay Holdings would like to clarify that the company moved all of its corporate banking from Kauphing Singer Friedlander to the Royal Bank of Scotland 10 weeks ago."

Link

Looks like he's not just a pretty face then...

Well considering that RBS has gone from £6 to £1 a share in the last year, not the best move in my opinion!

HSBC is the only one not to have been caught up in this fiasco as they have stayed above the golden ratio for banks. I can see them picking up an awful lot of business. Obviously they can cherry pick the best businesses that they want to support.

edit; just to add. HSBC wanted nothing to do with the UK govt. bailout, but in order not to smear (crash the share price) of all the other numpty banks have had to go along with it.

http://www.hsbc.com/1/2/newsroom/news/news...-s-announcement

Edited by Infrasonic (log)
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edit: haven't confirmed it bu ti was told that the Nobu restaurant Ubon in Canary Wharf has shut in the last few days...

Yes I heard the same last week, and it was immediately blamed on Lehmans by their acting manager. Somehow, I don't think so - you don't shut within hours of a local failure.

A shame: Ubon was a way of having the same food as Nobu but without snotty pretentious staff so far up themselves I'm surprised they weren't choking on their own egos, and pathetically short table turning to go with it. And Ubon had better portion sizes too.

H

Beware of Tom Aikens, grapewine tells me lady Bamford is pulling out and the Fish shop closed not due to anything else then poor trade.... That might be a big name for the Credit Crunch to swallow.

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A friend of mine ate in Racine last weekend and said that service charge there is now 14.5%. Ouch. I can't remember what it was when I was there a year ago. Does anywhere else charge at this rate?

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A friend of mine ate in Racine last weekend and said that service charge there is now 14.5%. Ouch. I can't remember what it was when I was there a year ago. Does anywhere else charge at this rate?

Hi Corinna

It's been like that for as long as I can remember - I remember a thread discussing this some years ago.

What's really frustrating though is that all the senior FOH have gone and my previously frequent missions, maybe once every couple of weeks, have become much less frequent. It had become rather a locals hang out, or as local you can get in the Knightsbridge/South Ken area. But when I went in there for Sunday lunch a couple of weeks ago it was strangely empty. We even used to get the clergy, fully robed, in from neighbouring Brompton Oratory, and it had developed into a really rather chatty place between locals. It was almost like a traditional boozer, but with wine and superlative food.

I'm delighted to say that the food remains excellent, as the kitchen's still superbly chefed. But a really big plus is that the wine list has exploded into the New World too.

I will still continue to go, but less frequently for now: it used to sway me that I knew when I walked in they'd know me - always nice when you're with folks. It will just take another few months before I (and I suspect the other locals) make it into a proper regular again. Just let's get the FOH sorted.

Cheers, H

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The only noticeable difference over this last few months for a tiny independant like me is a massive drop in bottled water sales and a lot of house wine being sold.

Strangely, water sales were high overthe last 10 days or so, and more expensive wines being sold also, so thats the end of the credit crunch finanical meltdown,phew! :wink:

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The only noticeable difference over this last few months for a tiny independant like me is a massive drop in bottled water sales and a lot of house wine being sold.

Strangely, water sales were high overthe last 10 days or so, and more expensive wines being sold also, so thats the end of the credit crunch finanical meltdown,phew! :wink:

Was that the baliffs and liquidators xmas parties you had in ?

:wacko:

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Well - the first failures are here - Tom Aikens into administration (we got the paperwork telling us we wont be paid for the months worth of supplies he has taken from us on Friday!)

Vino Rosso in Chiswick closing and from what I have just heard Fish Works is having a tough time too!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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Who cares how the likes of Ramsay etc are getting on? Im far more interested in the small, independants out there, the real restaurants of the land. In my opinion, the only way to survive the coming hardships (which the media keep reminding us of constantly), is to simply offer the very best value one can, without letting standards slip. A real balancing act. I hope everyone who's passionate about their business gets by and this down turn rids us of the jokers, who couldn't give a toss about being in the hospitality industry. As for the likes of Aikens going into administration, well I sort of feel for him but he is a chef who seemed to treat his customers like they should be honoured to dine in his establishments. On the upside he's a chef who will live to fight another day, which I would like to see most do. Hang in there!

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sorry to hear you're bearing the brunt of this, as is often the case the chefs/owners live to fight another day but these sort of debts can bankrupt small specialist suppliers.

so i'm not feeling too sorry for tom and lady bamford at the moment, think there's a few others that are more deserving.

Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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Well - the first failures are here - Tom Aikens into administration (we got the paperwork telling us we wont be paid for the months worth of supplies he has taken from us on Friday!)

Almost didn't believe you at first but here's the evening standard take :

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/art...iers/article.do

of course it's not true until it's in the evening standard :wacko:

you don't win friends with salad

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