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Are consumers losing their appetite for eating out?

November 24, 2009 | 10:52 am

Nick
Adele Cabot and her husband used to dine out three or four times a week, regularly spending $75 to $100 at a sushi bar sampling rainbow rolls and yellowtail nigiri sushi.

But that changed after Cabot, an adjunct professor of theater at UCLA, had to take a 6% salary cut. The couple now eat out half as much and frequent less expensive Mexican and Italian places.

"I just don't want to spend the money to eat out a lot," Cabot said.

With Thanksgiving this week and Christmas next month, restaurants are eager to win back customers such as Cabot who seemed to disappear amid a brutal summer for the nation's eateries. Restaurant owners are worried that tight corporate entertainment budgets, cash-conscious consumers and greater competition from price-cutting supermarkets will make for another dreary Christmas. Read more here:

-- Jerry Hirsch

Photo: Patina Restaurant Group founder Joachim Splichal, shown at his Nick & Stef's Steakhouse in downtown L.A., has been focusing on booking company parties, offering price breaks as inducements. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

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