Fine Dining Struggles in New York City

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock (where some of us may have wanted to be) during the past year, it will be no shock for you to hear that high-end culinary establishments in New York City have been struggling due to the recession. In fact, struggling may be an understatement; more than 500 of the city’s restaurants have shut down so far this year, and that includes elite restaurants such as French eateries Chanterelle and Café des Artistes.

But don’t panic quite yet—this is by no means the beginning of the end for New York’s fine dining, it is quite simply just a rough patch. Eric Ripert co-owns Le Bernardin, a three-Michelin star deluxe eatery, and has reportedly managed to avoid downsizing his employees by doubling his spending on sales and marketing and further raising his profile by appearing on the extremely popular show, Top Chef. Suffice it to say, some owners may feel the pressure to fire staff as a quick fix to the economic downturn, however, Ripert is admirably using alternative methods which no doubt results in some extremely happy employees who are perhaps more likely to smile when they serve their exclusive clientele than other employees who are feeling imminent bad news at every turn.

At this weekend’s New York City Wine and Food Festival, food writers and restaurateurs alike were commenting that cheap-eats such as noodle bars and burger joints may be superseding top-end restaurants. Personally, I think that may be jumping the gun. Exclusive high-end restaurants will always be in fashion in New York City, and despite the recession, I’m pretty confident that fine cuisine isn’t going anywhere.

Via: Halogen Life