Recession is leading to more small restaurants closing

Diners eating at Tavern on the Green in New York City shortly before it closed
Diners eating at Tavern on the Green in New York City shortly before it closed

Chalk up another casualty to the recession: Mom-and-pop restaurants, where you're more likely to know your server, and possibly the owner, by name.

The recession appears to be pushing more people into their own kitchens to cook instead of dining out, according to The NPD Group . But the perception of a restaurant meal being expensive may be just that -- prices for food away from home remained flat in July, according to the Consumer Price Index, and restaurant menu prices have risen modestly this year.