: Recession fall out or a trend?

Aug 27th, 2009, 09:53 PM
Truffles restaurant closing after 37 years


Michael Monette, 18 year employee at Truffles makes sure the wine glasses are spotless before dinner service. Truffles Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel is closing September 5th.

Aug 27, 2009 01:18 PM
Comments on this story (35)
Truffles will shave its last tuber a week from tomorrow.

The restaurant that once epitomized luxury dining in Toronto will close its doors for good, the Toronto Four Seasons hotel has confirmed.

"The restaurant has experienced a slowdown in its business not just this year, but for the past several years," says Four Seasons executive Dimitrios Zarikos. "With the last economic downturn, it became just impossible to bear."


TheStar.com | Restaurants | Truffles restaurant closing after 37 years (http://www.thestar.com/living/restaurants/article/687333)

I noticed Tony Roma a Place for Ribs - a fixture for years in Mississauga shut down and on the other end of the scale Mexicali Rose's on the same strip also failed to make after not much more than a year...

The home furnishing centre near Tony Roma's is gap toothed - only about 70% full.

Too many eating places???

People staying at home???

Finding cheaper places to dine??

What's the eating situation near you....boom or bust or???

Aug 27th, 2009, 10:39 PM
Fancy restaurants are opening here in St. John's and doing well. Some have a 2 to 3 month waiting list for reservations. It is mainly due to the oil industry which is bringing in big bucks to NL. My house keeps jumping in value and we are not doing that much to improve the property.

Aug 28th, 2009, 09:29 AM
Do you think it might be a shift in demographics that's responsible instead? A lot of people I know aren't interested in high end, pretentious traditional suit and tie restaurants and that's got to be hurting that part of the market.

I know I fall into that category too. One of my friends had a gift card for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse so we went there one night and had an expensive meal that cost about $25 above what the gift card covered. I feel really out of place in those kinds of restaurants so I very rarely go to them, maybe once every year and a bit and maybe not even that frequently. That also makes me an unlikely customer for Truffles, add however many other people feel the same way and that's only one thing that whittles down the size of your market...

Aug 28th, 2009, 09:38 AM
Plus, we've had so many celebrity chefs in Toronto open their own restaurants... I think Truffles' day is just done.

Restaurtants are the hardest business to make it in. Most of them fail in good times or bad.

Aug 28th, 2009, 10:11 AM
Do you think it might be a shift in demographics that's responsible instead?...

And psychographics... I would think that is more likely the cause, times and tastes change...

Aug 28th, 2009, 10:14 AM
Plus with high-end, trend-setting restos, its patrons can be notoriously fickle. Whereas high-end, more conservative ones stay the course and prevail... that is, until they inevitably cross an invisible line and become old, stale... done. It's a longer cycle than the ones the ultra hipster, self-consciously stylish restos go through, but it remains a finite period all the same.

Word travels fast among the well-heeled foodie crowd. When a place is toast, it's time to close up shop - maybe open up under a different name with different branding.

Aug 28th, 2009, 10:19 AM
Yeah that's what I'm trying to tease out

Is it hard times??

Fickle client base??

Change in priorities??

[b]A lot of people I know aren't interested in high end, pretentious traditional suit and tie restaurants and that's got to be hurting that part of the market.[/i]

I suspect that's a part of it - business travel is way down for airlines and expense accounts being examined..so even the write off environs is shifting....

Aug 28th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Not only a lack of spending money, but the want of something different. In Hamilton, we tend to go to places like B&T for giant bowls of shredded chicken soup, or Hoya for Korean food, or to La Luna for Lebanese not only because of cost, but the yumminess factor and the fact that they are different.

There is a cull of "high end" restaurants every time there is a recession, like the last recession when Winston's in Toronto took a nose dive. And I can see that because I think many people prefer something different, and in Toronto, there is tons of places that are different, like Jerk Chicken, or giant Gyros on the Danforth, or the Korean Grill House...

Aug 28th, 2009, 01:06 PM
I've never been interested in the foo foo places. I've been a couple of times and been disappointed. Give me a plate of good wholesome food vs something that looks like art that should hang on the wall. I'm fond of trying different restaurants that feature something different. I've had some outstanding food from some small and inexpensive ethnic eateries around town.

My daughter is a cook at a fairly good Italian restaurant. They have been struggling and my daughter's hours cut 35%. It does come down to price I think. Business has picked up some since there was a 25% cut in prices across the board.

macintosh doctor
Aug 28th, 2009, 03:38 PM
I would say with all the new places opening, i.e. Gordon Ramsey and so on - these old tradition places can not compete not to mention if they are not trendy, good luck. But Location plays a good part too.

I had to find an employee that flew in overseas to Toronto, from the UK a place to stay during an install we did; so i price lined it and found The Sutton place for $120 a night - That should show you that times are gone for spend freely and frequently.