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  • Peter Backman

Eating in on Valentine's Day?

Casual Dining is a phrase you don’t hear much nowadays. In the ancient, pre-covid days it was of course heard everywhere. And, again in those days, the weaknesses of casual dining were becoming apparent – its overcapacity, its formulaic approach, the ubiquity of the leading brands, its high (and growing) base of fixed costs resulting from the high rents it was paying.


But it had one strong thing going for it. The brands involved had created a marketing eco-system. Their messages reinforced each other’s; being so available they were unmissable and, without a second’s thought, that’s where people decided to eat out. Collectively, casual dining reinforced its individual messages, and by giving multiple reasons for going out for a meal, individual restaurants flourished alongside the sector as a whole.


But the tide seems to have turned…


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