Ever wonder why every other restaurant opening these days seems to be a high-end steakhouse? It's certainly not just your imagination; according to the Tribune, over the past year steakhouses are up 9 percent nationwide and 18 percent (!) in Chicago. Why is everyone flocking to eat expensive slabs of medium-rare beef during a recession? The question is especially interesting when you consider that lower-priced steakhouses, like Outback and Texas Roadhouse, are actually declining. Darren Tristanos, a restaurant industry consultant, claims that (shock!) some people are dealing with the recession better than others.
He told the Tribune that high-end steakhouses are doing great business because "affluent consumers are hitting better employment numbers than the lower middle class." Now you know. Perhaps is now the perfect time to hit up your well-to-do friend for a taste of that $144 Waygu steak from Roka Akor. Obviously, he or she can afford it.
High-end steakhouses thriving in Chicago [Chicago Tribune]