Blogespondent Jerry Sullivan, editor and publisher of the Los Angeles Garment & Citizen, writes:
"Sushi is different, but the effects of the economic downturn on restaurants serving the Japanese specialty are pretty much the same as everywhere. That’s the word in Little Tokyo, where a manager of one popular sushi joint says there are just as many customers lately—but folks are eating less.
"There’s a lot of that going around these days, but the trend is unique for sushi places, where customers order item by item, nearly bite by bite. It’s easier to trim 10% or 20% from the total tab with that sort of setup.
"The bad news for sushi restaurants is that such a change in diners’ habits will cut into overall sales. The good news is that they have a chance to keep seeing their regular customers. Most other restaurants, where standard menus don’t offer the chance to trim the tab by eating a little less, are more likely to lose entire tickets as their regulars decide to skip a meal out altogether.
"That should put sushi restaurants in good shape for an economic recovery—and we’ll know that’s arrived when their customers go ahead and order one more roll of salmon or yellowtail."
I'm assuming Jerry can continue to check on this unique economic barometer ... and deduct it from his taxes.
Check out John's weekly show Off-Ramp.