Top restaurants pull out the stops, and give discounts, to beat recession

The Netherlands’ top restaurants are starting to feel the recession and are offering all sorts of special deals to draw in the crowds, according to hospitality sector magazine Misset Horeca.

Almost 90% of the country’s top 100 eateries (defined by the Michelin organisation) are taking part in special deal weeks, the magazine found.
The most popular event is Dining with the Stars, followed by the Restaurant Week and Heerlijk10Daagse.
Groupon is not a popular option for discount eating with most top chefs. ‘If you can give such giant discounts, I can’t believe you are operating as a star-rated restaurant,’ one chef is quoted as saying by the Volkskrant.
New customers
The most important reason for taking part in the special weeks is attracting new customers, although many chefs say they have noticed that discount customers do not come back later.
Keeping the numbers up is another reason to take part as is following what your peer restaurants are doing.
At the same time, 60% of the Netherlands’ star restaurants say they booked more turnover last year. One in four have seen turnover go down.
But most are pessimistic about 2013 and expect a decline in sales, leading them to reduce the size of their menu and cut staff.
Saturday’s Financieele Dagblad magazine points out the Netherlands’ top two restaurants are fully booked for dinner this year.
The three-star Oude Sluis is now taking bookings for 2013. The three-star Librije in Zwolle has some space for lunch but dinner guests will also have to wait until next year.
Which is your favourite place to eat in the Netherlands. Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

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