Restaurant Trends for 2010

Dallas restaurant owners want to cook up better sales for 2010.

"You're going to say, 'Wow, I feel really good about spending money on the food and service that I received at that particular restaurant,'" said Baine Brooks, one of the owners of Los Cabos and Two Rows in Dallas.

Brooks is the the president of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association. The 21-year-veteran of the food business said the trade group is working on several things to make 2010 better for restaurants. One of the areas he expects owners to push for improvement is customer service.

"When you spend your dollar, you want the best you're going to get for your dollar," Brooks said. "I just think we're going to do a better job; restaurateurs will do a better job of following up on that food and service."

GDRA stats show that sales tax receipts were down in the first half of 2009 compared to 2008. To make it more profitable, Brooks said owners are looking at ways to be more efficient, from better credit-card-processing machines to daily meal deals to attract customers.

But he also said he thinks some restaurants will step away from older methods of attracting customers.

"I don't think you're going to see a lot of couponing and discounting in 2010," Brooks said.

Brooks said he does think restaurants will serve up better portions of meals that are in tune with what patrons expect to pay. He also said he's optimistic about 2010's sales receipts.

"I would prefer to be in January of 2010 than in January of 2009," he said.


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