Kazakhstan: Restaurants starved of Business amid Recession

    The global economic crisis is taking a big bite out of the once-thriving restaurant business in Kazakhstan’s main cities. Recent data indicates that fewer people are dining out and those who do are drastically curtailing their spending.
    Alexander Leonidov, president of the Kazakh Association of Bartenders, said in the March edition of Business and Power (Biznes I Vlast – KNL) magazine that overall profits were down by 60 percent, and the average bill had fallen by roughly 50 percent.
    "Premium-class restaurants have suffered losses. Medium-class restaurants are better off," he said.
    Timur Nazhanov, the vice president of the Independent Association of Entrepreneurs, estimated that restaurant revenues have declined by up to 50 percent in recent months. Corporate events and private parties have "declined sharply" he added.
    Exclusive restaurants are unlikely to "lower the bar" with more "democratic" prices to attract new, middle-income customers, Leonidov added. "After all, we live in Kazakhstan, a country where nobody wants to recognize a middle or lower class," he said, according to Eurasianet.org.