DEL MAR, Calif. — To dine or not to dine out? Going out to restaurants are getting more costly due to surcharges and inflation.
Restaurants around town are seeing a decline in customers and now they say they have to get a bit more creative to get people in. Discounted beer and meals during peak dinner time hours is the game plan to attract customers at The GOAT sports hall in Del Mar.
“From 7- 9 p.m., our Happy Hour is going off. Everything on our entire menu is three dollars off so I offer a full discount,” The Goat owner Joseph Luciano said.
The GOAT is also cash and Venmo, only to avoid charging customers surcharges.
“I think that’s what we need to do right now. You need to get creative. You need to see that everybody needs to save money and that means as a business you need to save money,” Luciano said.
Other restaurant owners say they are seeing a decline in customers due to inflation.
“We had a 20-22% at Greystone Steakhouse in revenue and it became to people are just not going out spending money as much as they used to,” said Sara Arjmand of Greystone Steakhouse.
Customers says they are ditching the fancy meals to save.
“Definitely cooking at home a lot more. We usually would go out two to three nights a week, and maybe one,” customer Darryl Richardson said.
Customer Angelica Osuna says her family is not going out to restaurants nor driving around as much.
“I used to actually have zoo passes and aquarium passes, I just haven’t been able to renew them because it’s eat or go out,” she said.
Inflation has impacted Osuna and her family so much it brought her to tears.
“It’s crazy, you never really had to pick and choose before, and now it’s you really have to pick and choose,” Osuna said.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found food costs have risen 10.4% since last year.