Traditional fine dining has hit hard during the recent recession, as many consumers tightened their belt budgets. The newly cautious, frugal spenders spent more of their discretionary spending money in chain restaurants and fast-food outlets that offer fresh, sometimes even less healthy food for a little more money. In fact, the fast casual movement has been the most successful, growing in popularity over the past five years as casual dining has grown in popularity nationwide. Similar trends like quick fine dining have also developed in other cities like San Francisco, and similar concepts like quick fine dining have also become popular nationwide as quick service restaurants, although less flashy, have continued to grow in popularity, especially along major city streets like Sixth Street or in upscale shopping malls. These types of restaurants generally serve quick food or take out, usually on a tiny budget, so the clientele is limited to those with disposable income and tastes.
These days, upscale eateries such as Luxo, Babalou, and other fine dining establishments, have begun to adopt the fast casual menu concept. These restaurants usually serve lighter entrees with a larger variety of dishes at a fraction of the price of traditional fine dining. Quick service restaurants that offer a casual atmosphere and a large variety of foods at lower prices are helping those who have given up on eating out completely adapt to the changes in eating habits.
One of the benefits of visiting one of these casual eateries is that the price is much lower, even for the casual entrees. These restaurants are targeting the middle class with their lower prices and the variety offered is much greater. However, just because the price is cheaper doesn’t mean you aren’t getting quality food. Often times, the casual eateries are offering more fresh, locally caught food than you would find in fine dining restaurants. This makes each meal a special treat, one that you won’t be able to replicate at home. Whether it’s Thai food, Chinese food, Italian food, or Japanese food, you can find it at a great price at one of these casual eateries.
Shirts are also popular items at many fine dining restaurants. Gone are the days of having to wash shirts at home after eating. Fine dining restaurants offer a wide selection of shirts, whether it’s a v-neck, polo neck or a plain collared shirt. The shirts can come with slogans, cartoons, or just about anything you want, so they make for a fun, comfortable outfit.
Another item that is becoming common place in the fine dining restaurants means casual clothing. Jeans are currently very popular among young people, especially college students. Jeans are comfortable and easy to wear, which means they are making their way into the establishments of all age groups. Men’s jeans are often combined with t-shirts and a graphic tee, or they can be paired with a dressy jacket. Ladies still mostly wear jeans, although they are more common in the summer months.
Dressing for a restaurant just got a whole lot easier. Whether you are there for business or pleasure, a nice tailored or business suit will be appropriate. If you have to wear jeans, opt for a dark wash color that goes well with your skin tone. It’s not necessary to look like you’ve gone to a four year school. In fact, many of these restaurants encourage their wait staff and chefs to dress casual, as the restaurant’s image should be less centered on formal attire.
Some fine-casual concepts have introduced color to their menus. Some fine dining restaurants have adopted a white tablecloth eateries to compete in the more casual dining market. Colorful vegetables and unique dishes are a part of this new movement. Many restaurants in Los Angeles and Orange County are following the lead of these restaurants, which have a more casual atmosphere than traditional fine dining restaurants.
Casual elegant restaurants offer diners a choice for the type of meal experience they want. They don’t force the casual elegant experience on people, as some traditional fine dining restaurants do. A nice restaurant is one that celebrates individual tastes, knowing full well that some people will prefer a more formal experience than others. With a little creativity, a Los Angeles fine-dining restaurant can be anything that you want it to be.