Gordon Ramsay Almost Turns a Profit in New York

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Applebees is expanding (and planning to open six New York City restaurants this year, according to Crains), and a Wall Street Journal piece about the travails of Gordon Ramsay indicates the restaurant industry may be improving overall: After a dire start to the year, Mr. Ramsay and some other big-name chefs say business has stabilized in recent weeks. The article discusses cost-cutting measures Ramsay took after nearing bankruptcy, including removing flowers from the tables at Maze to save $4,000 a month, as well as introducing a $65 pretheater menu that shies away from gourmet ingredients. He also blew £12 million of his television earnings on saving his restaurant empire. As a result of the changes, writes the Journal, the New York operations for the month of May were $5,000 short of breaking even, which Mr. Ramsay says was an improvement over previous months.