The economy takes funny turns. Niall Kennedy was telling me that he had a discussion with a successful restaurant owner in San Francisco. Their table utilization is flat from one year ago (not down as would be expected) but their average dollar per patron is down significantly. People are ordering cheaper items, sharing more, buying cheaper wines (or getting glasses rather than bottles), and skipping dessert.
Also very interesting … people are taking longer to eat. Probably that's because they skipped buying tickets to the show and don’t have to rush off. Instead, the restaurant is their major form of entertainment that night.
more at Niall's blog