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Watch Out for 1st Quarter 09.

Watch Out for 1st Quarter 09.

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Old Nov 19, 08, 10:48 am
  #1  
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Watch Out for 1st Quarter 09.

Have been all over the U.S. selling vino, and - if there was any doubt - the economy positively sucks. A lot of high-profile restaurants (both independents and chains) are singing the blues...and holding out hope that a strong 4th quarter is gonna save them.

I hope it does, but I've got my doubts.

Makes me think that by March of 09 we'll be hearing about a lot of our favorite restaurants closing their doors or filing BK. Depressing.
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Old Nov 19, 08, 3:16 pm
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I usually purchase restaurant gift cards for Christmas gifts. This past summer I got burnt with Steak N Ale cards when they went under.
There is alot of info in the news about retailers (Circuit City, Linens n Things)
going bankrupt but not much info about the restaurant chains.
I am leery about buying gift cards this year. Anyone have info on which restaurants to avoid buying cards for???
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Old Nov 19, 08, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by frankcoton View Post
I usually purchase restaurant gift cards for Christmas gifts. This past summer I got burnt with Steak N Ale cards when they went under.
There is alot of info in the news about retailers (Circuit City, Linens n Things)
going bankrupt but not much info about the restaurant chains.
I am leery about buying gift cards this year. Anyone have info on which restaurants to avoid buying cards for???
FDIC is insuring gift cards this year.
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Old Nov 19, 08, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by ECOTONE View Post
I would not depend on that, looks highly challengeable.
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Old Nov 19, 08, 4:25 pm
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DC restaurants burn a lot of better west coast wines. the west coast wine business is very slow in DC. the restaurants are already starting to fold. the better ones are the ones getting hit hardest, as they have the biggest nut.
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Old Nov 19, 08, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by frankcoton View Post
Anyone have info on which restaurants to avoid buying cards for???
Morton's.
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Old Nov 19, 08, 6:25 pm
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I'd shy away from a restaurant gift card, too. Better to make a nice 'coupon' on your computer which reads: "Good for $50 on your next dinner out", and attach cash. Better still, just put the cash in an envelope! Not so warm & fuzzy, but nobody gets burned.

It's going to be a tough New Year. I suspect we'll see a lot of business shuttering...and not just restaurants.
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Old Nov 20, 08, 12:12 am
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It's been VERY quiet out on the west coast...People are still guzzling the cheap stuff, but the premium tier wines seem to be taking a massive hit. In particular we're seeing FR/IT/SP wines not moving much at all. Sad really, there's some great juice out there.
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Old Nov 20, 08, 7:16 am
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We all know that restaurants give a pretty generous markup on wine. With the slowdown, are you seeing any places revisiting their wine lists and dropping prices?

Last edited by swag; Nov 21, 08 at 10:09 am
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Old Nov 20, 08, 9:50 am
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It's not so much that restaurateurs are lowering margins on existing wines as it is that they're taking advantages of outrageous deals being made by distributors and/or wineries. With a combination of excessive inventories and supplier/distributor consolidation, there are incredible wines being offered to buyers at under $100 (sometimes under $50) a case.

They'd be foolish not to take advantage of these deals, and the fact that they are is making it very difficult for those who can't lower pricing to compete. It's hurting all of us.
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Old Nov 20, 08, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by mrviognier View Post
It's not so much that restaurateurs are lowering margins on existing wines as it is that they're taking advantages of outrageous deals being made by distributors and/or wineries. With a combination of excessive inventories and supplier/distributor consolidation, there are incredible wines being offered to buyers at under $100 (sometimes under $50) a case.

They'd be foolish not to take advantage of these deals, and the fact that they are is making it very difficult for those who can't lower pricing to compete. It's hurting all of us.
Damn, I want to get offered cases of incredible wines for under $100.....
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Old Nov 20, 08, 11:59 am
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I think that early March will be the tipping point for a lot of places. You don't pay less rent in February, for example, just because it's 28 days.

I think the mid-tier places ($17-22 dinner bills w/o liquor), especially the chains, are going to be hit hardest. The little dumpling place by my house that has four employees, 7 tables, and most items under $7, they may actually pick up a little bit of business.
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Old Nov 25, 08, 2:28 pm
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If you look at the casula dining segment the ones that are doing the best are on the cheaper or the ultra high end. Places like Buffalo Wild Wings (just got upgraded by most major institutions), Red Robin et al are seeing sales growth because they offer good value to their patrons.
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Old Nov 26, 08, 12:12 pm
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I'm not sure this is a bad thing. A lot of the casual dining chains have been ripping consumers off for years. I stopped going to almost every major chain (Applebees, Fridays, Chilis, etc) because the prices have shot through the roof and the quality is poor. There are lots of local places that offer much better food and hence value.

It was only a matter of time until J6P discovered that paying $12 for a $2 hamburger and fries just isn't good sense.
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Old Jul 9, 10, 2:55 pm
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Some state governments might also honor the value of a gift card to a company that has gone bankrupt. A lot of state governments collect gift cards as unclaimed property and reimburse people for their expired gift cards, so I wouldn't be surprised if they also reimbursed you for gift cards for companies that have gone bankrupt.

http://education.cardhub.com/gift-ca...imed-property/
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