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The dining-out favorite you may no longer see

Restaurant Industry Getting Hit In The Breadbasket

As eateries attempt to cut costs, restaurant diners may lose a long-relished freebie -- the pre-dinner bread basket.

New Jersey restaurant owner Peter Loria told The Record, "If we can't sell plates because people are filling up on bread, it's a financial burden. We're in the business to sell food, not to sell bread."

So, if there's no bread to whet your appetite, what will?

The Boston Globe reports one restaurant that used to serve cornbread is now going with another southern snack - pickles. The owner says, "Not only are pickles gluten free, but they're soy and nut free, and there's no dairy in them."

As expected, the trend is not going over well with many customers. The Washington Post says one DC restaurant was met with so many complaints about the missing bread that the owner relented and started serving it again.

The Boston Globe says some restaurants are starting to serve potato chips, which are about 5 times cheaper to produce than bread.

Join the discussion

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Gene May 20 2014 at 9:56 AM

When oh when will America be rid of the Obama and the Democrats that seem hell bent on altering out lifestyles? What once was a great country with many freedoms is now a mind and behavior experiment imposed on us by liberals. God help us.

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51 replies
Rickrak May 20 2014 at 9:56 AM

If the restaurant volume starts to go down, a smart business owner will realize he goofed. Great bread is something that people remember.
Potato chips is not great bread!

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8 replies
Gayle May 20 2014 at 8:34 AM

The only people who should be eating gluten free are people with celiac disease. All this other stuff started in most likely Calif. Is crazy but everyone catches the wave. This move is just another way to charge the customers for bread if they want it. Resturants that aren't doing well isn't because of bread. It's because they compromised on the quality of food in general and changed the portion sizes. No one in their right mind wants to pay a humongous price for a 1 inch square of fish with some sauce and 3 asparagas with 6 almond slivers on top. People are learning to eat at home again and that is not a bad thing.

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10 replies
Tim Objectiveopinion May 20 2014 at 11:17 AM

I own 2 casual steak houses and our bread is pretty tasty...we also have no plans of taking it away. That being said, we spend approx $2000 per week on (free) bread alone to service approx 5000 guests. Our avg check is approx $16 after all guests are accounted for and our food costs run approx 40 percent...just thought i would share. We are fortunate to have the volume but I can certainly see where a lower volume place would struggle with this...It stands to reason that with the constant rising cost of wholesale food you must weigh out the possibilities
1. Raise the price to your guests (again) who have already felt it everywhere else
2. Look at your "loss leaders" (bread) and how the MAJORITY of your guests perceive them
3. Continue to change nothing and "hope" things "change" which equals a very thin margin that will go red with the first slow down in sales forced by a snow storm.....which equals closure of the restaurant and the loss of his/her dreams and life's savings. love to all

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24 replies
alfredschrader May 20 2014 at 6:40 AM

This actually puts a lot of stress on the Chef. Most people don't leave to go out to eat until they are hungry. By the time they drive, get a table, and the wait person takes their order, they are starving.
Then they order a steak well done that takes at least 15 minutes to prepare.
Bread, crackers, anything on the table they can snack on is a tremendous help.
Without this, they keep calling the wait staff over asking "Where is my food ?" and the wait staff then drives the Chef nutz. It takes a certain amount of time to cook good food. If you try and speed things too much you get incinerated garbage.

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6 replies
Gerry May 20 2014 at 7:04 AM

All this gluten frenzy is just so much nonsense. Unless you have a sensitivety to gluten, it does not matter if you eat it.

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3 replies
jgesselberty May 20 2014 at 8:36 AM

Excuse me, but anything served at your table in a restaurant is NOT free. It's all calculated in the cost of the meal which you pay for. If you don't want people filling up on bread, how about faster service so they don't sit there waiting for the real food. Or, bring the bread basket, only after the meal order is taken. With a dinner out at a decent restaurant running $150-$200 for a couple, this is a cheesy way to save a buck.

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5 replies
betsy7070 May 20 2014 at 8:53 AM

Actually it would be nice to have a small vegetable tray to start. Many restaraunts don't serve them with their hambergers and fries so it would complete the meal. I would like to see either vegetables or pickles and olives. Many people are trying to eat better and we dont need bread before a sandwich or fried foods or chips.

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7 replies
Jeff Shank May 20 2014 at 10:03 AM

This is all yankees being cheep. Value and service will remain in Texas.

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10 replies
Victor May 20 2014 at 6:33 AM

with the price of the entrees they arent losing anything by serving bread they cut the portions and raise the prices stop complaining you outght to be glad people come to ur restaurant

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1 reply
rfruthwatson3 Victor May 20 2014 at 1:22 PM

We already mostly pay the salary for their servers, which I think has gotten out of hand. They shouldn't object to giving us some bread, although there is some waste I've noticed.

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2 replies
petpetdon rfruthwatson3 May 20 2014 at 3:10 PM

Wait till the minimum wage is increased to 15 dollars an hour. You will be paying 10 bucks for that Big Mac and the service will still suck.

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Sue rfruthwatson3 May 20 2014 at 3:46 PM

Where'd you get that bull? They hardly pay the servers. The servers BANK ON TIPS.

Flag +2 rate up
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