Love For Mothers Could Mean Financial Boost for Valley Restaurants

May 10, 2009 6:40:23 PM PDT
Many Valley restaurants are counting on mothers and their families Sunday to help resurrect ailing profits; more people eat out on Mother's day than any other time in the year. Valentine's in a close second.Restaurant managers Action News spoke to said affordable meals and friendly service count when people are looking to spend their hard earned dollars.

When it comes to celebrating one's mother central Valley residents said there is no holding back.

Michael Othites of Fresno said: "Everybody's thinking of the economy but for Mother's day, no way!"

Merced's Jane Moe said: "You can't just sit there and not spend any money because other people suffer."

Restaurants are all too familiar with diners carefully spending discretionary funds. That's why high-end establishments like Fleming's offer popular all inclusive brunch menus. 500 reservations have been booked for Mother's day alone.

Fleming's operating partner Michael Digiambasttista said: "Seems to be very value conscience and it's something our guests look forward. So it's been pretty popular. We did it on Easter Sunday and we're going to do it again on Father's day."

California restaurant association member Gary Honeycutt runs this popular family diner in Northeast Fresno. Honeycutt said low gas prices are keeping food costs down, allowing profits to grow.

"As food costs, commodity prices are going down we are really, again blessed because our volume has stayed constant," said Honeycutt.

Of course Mother's day would not be complete without flowers. Flower shop owner Michael Butler's financial stems have been cut short because of the prickly economy. Valentine's sales were lower than years past but internet sales and last minute orders this week are a much welcomed boost for store revenue.

Butler: "The week going into Mother's day we were pretty worried but Thursday night, Friday, it really, really got busy."

In a recent survey the California Restaurant Association believes disposable income will rise almost 1% by Fall. Not much, say industry experts, but it could be the start of a much needed positive trend.

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