Just like in Houston, U.S. Restaurants are Coming Back Slowly

Nationally, restaurant revenue is up thanks to inflation, but dining out is still on the decline. Melissa Stewart, Senior Executive Director of Texas Restaurant Association - Houston Area, says things are looking up here, but record inflation isn't helping ." A lot of Houston restaurants are saying they are fully staffed, and that's really good. We do know that the revenue is up - but unfortunately revenue and profit are NOT the same thing!" This year Thanksgiving is a big boost - in and out of the restaurant.

Same Menu - Higher Bill!

"More and more consumers are giving up the headache of 'Is-the-turkey-perfect?' and 'starting-every-dish-from-scratch' and are taking advantage of these pre-put together meals from local restaurants." Also, of course, dining out for the feast. She says they're still coming back from the Covid Lockdown, but there is a pick up in patrons. "People want to be out. They're tired of cooking --- we all are! Certainly the higher prices at the grocery store make eating out seem a bit more economical. So a few more people just figure they'll go on out!"

She says she hears from member restaurants there are some bumps in the road. "There are a bit fewer big parties this year so far. Some of the Event Dining engagements are down. But, overall, we're moving in the right direction and that's what I want to see!" Area restaurants are still being squeezed with higher wages, but many are reporting more patrons trickling in.


Turkey dinner on white plate

Thanksgiving meal prepared by a local restaurant and put on your own plates!Photo: Getty Images

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