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September Is the Cruelest Month for Restaurants

September Is the Cruelest Month for Restaurants
Photograph by Getty Images

If you’ve been noticing a lot of restaurant promotional deals recently, you aren’t imagining things—it’s a real phenomenon. The restaurant business falls off a cliff when Labor Day hits, the summer ends, and kids go back to school. That’s why all those companies have to start offering deals to fill the gap. That all-you-can-eat Never Ending Pasta Pass from Olive Garden isn’t a gimmick: It’s part of a real business strategy backed by hard data.
 
Look at the chart below: The amount the average customer spends at casual dining establishments is worse now than at any other time of the year.