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Did altering the menu alter a restaurants fate in the recession?


Three years ago, we aired a piece about Caffe Delle Stelle in Hayes Valley, San Francisco. The café was changing up its menu to fit the times – the economic downturn was beginning to slow the flow of lunchtime customers, so it formulated an economy meal. KALW’s Laura Klivans spoke with then-server Flori Mashmeyer, who said the restaurant’s ten-dollar soup or salad and pasta dish was bringing in “a lot more business.”

Now, three years later, we thought to revisit Caffe Delle Stelle and see how they’ve done since then. While unemployment rates in California decreased from 11.2 percent in March 2009 to 10.9 percent this January, independent restaurants are still searching for creative ways to fill the empty chairs caused by the recession.

KALW’s Fatima Duran caught up with Caffe Delle Stelle owner Enrico Sbolci to see how serving economy lunches has affected his business.