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Deals on casual dining coming as customers worry about economy

Deals on casual dining coming as customers worry about economy
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MONEY-SAVING MOMENT: It’s going to be cheaper to get a sit down lunch or dinner this summer thanks to a slowdown at casual dining restaurants.

The restaurant business has really taken a U-turn back to 2008. At that time, sit-down restaurants had to do recession specials like two meals for $19.95. Even expense account restaurant had to discount, doing things like complete meals for $39.95 instead of maybe $75.

Now we’re back to those kinds of scenarios. The public has lost confidence in the direction of the country and the economy. And in May, people decided they weren’t going to eat out like they once did.

Darden is just one big operator that’s reporting bad sales numbers. The company owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.

The CEO of Darden was on CNBC and said about the economy, “I think people are more fearful than hopeful.”

That’s a very accurate read of our country’s pulse in just a few words. You have businesses cutting back on spending, and the blazing hot car market has cooled a little. At a time like this, eating out is a discretionary choice, especially when a meal costs $25 a person.

So you’ll start seeing the specials later this summer. The Orlando Sentinel reports the Olive Garden will be doing meals for two for $25. Red Lobster, meanwhile, will roll out a price point of $15 or less for a complete meal.

The sudden concern about the economy means the deals will be there for you!