How do high-end restaurants stay in business?

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - In this struggling economy it has been difficult for restaurants across the area to stay in business.

For some of the most inexpensive restaurants it's been a recipe for bankruptcy.  Bonfire was one of the latest casualties.  The business had a low-priced menu, and still had trouble brining in customers. 

So how are some of the more expensive restaurants in the area are still cooking in this poor economy?

To cope, many high-end eateries have what they call "pre-fixed menus."  Meaning, the restaurant will offer a dinner for two option with a fixed price.

At Port City Chop House you can get any two entrees, like filet, salmon or chicken and two selected side entrees for $60.

According to Matthew Kahrs, Port City Chop House's executive chef, the menu has been very successful.

"I think they realize that if they are getting a decent deal and not getting gouged, and they are getting high class food and service - they are still willing to spend that," said Kahrs.

That's exactly what keeps bringing customers like Toby Morris back for seconds.

"It's a very good meal," said Morris.  "[It's] well priced and good service.  That's what we look for when we dine out."

According to Kahrs, it's imperative for upscale restaurants to alter prices, if not they could face closing their doors.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.