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Restaurants Adapt Consumer Appeals to Recession

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Orlando, Florida-Buffet-style dining, virtually writtenoff as an aging concept during the high-flying '90s, is makingsomething of a comeback as the economy has cooled. The marketleader in buffet dining, Golden Corral, surpassed $1 billion insystemwide sales in 2001. The company's top grossing unitnationwide, located in Orlando, Florida, broke its previous salesrecord despite the slowdown after the September 11 terroristattacks.

As consumers look for bargains and old-fashioned comfort food instressful times, buffets seem to fit the bill. With the averageper-person check below $8 at Golden Corral, buffet dining is pricedclose enough to fast-food dining that the sector has held up inrecent months despite the recession.

CiCi's Pizza is also taking part in the buffet resurgence,offering customers all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta, salad and dessertfor $3.99. -Nation's Restaurant News

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