While percentage numbers vary from place to place, some venues admit that customers have fallen by as much as 50 percent.
Less well known establishments are likely to be suffering more. So are some established resort outlets that traditionally charge higher prices.
The consensus is that the high season may be some time coming this year. Next year? Most people believe it will be better.
All the restaurants we contacted have kept their staff, even with the downturn in revenue.
Marketing has become more important, with special offers available to high season diners.
Tri Trang Hill
What the management says: We offer fusion style food (Europe and Thai) The situation at the moment is that business is down about 50 percent compared with the same time last year, because of the economy problems. Most customers are Australian. Our prices remain the same, and it is not our policy to increase the prices in the high season. Baan Yin Dee has not a lot of competition because it is on Tri-Trang Hill. In the high season we have plans for special events such as: Loy Kratong and Christmas, and we hope the number of customers increases 20 to 30 percent. Baan Yin Dee has a unique position and guests can see Patong beach from a panoramic viewpoint. We also have music from the grand piano every day.
Comment from F&B Executive Loyb Srisugda
Baan Yin Dee is open 7am-1am.
What the management says: We offer Thai and Mediterranean food. The situation now is that customer numbers are down about 10 percent compared with last year.It's the economy. The main customers, 100 percent, are foreign, mostly from United Kingdom and Scandinavia. We have an average 40 to50 people per day. Prices of food are the same and not a policy up the price in the high season. We give priority to keeping a high service standard, better than the competition. In the high season, we don't have new promotions planned, but we change the menu two or three times per year. Our prices have not gone up. We increased prices by 10 baht in June. The total of customers has increased a little, not more than five percent, from the same time of high season last year. The Boathouse Wine and Grill has a nice location almost on the beach, the good taste of Mediterranean food, plus good service from staff.
Comment from F&B Manager Pinyo Thippimas
Boathouse Wine and Grill open 7am-Midnight
What the management says: We offer French and Thai food and most customers are French, Swiss and British Foreigners make up 60 percent and Thais 40 percent. We have about 15 to 20 people a day. About two months ago, the total of the customers was down about 40 percent compared with in the same time last year. Our prices have not risen for three years. We wil add another staff position for the high season. Our priority is to keep service standards higher than the competition. We hope the number of customers will go up 20 to 30 percent this high season. Dibuk Restaurant is in the graceful old part of Phuket Town and the food tastes very good.
Comment from owner Soontaree Tipparat
Dibuk Restaurant is open 11am-Midnight
What the management says: We offer tasty local seafood. At the moment customer numbers are no different when compared with last year. People who come here are 70 percent Thai and 30 percent foreigners. Prices for now are the same but we have a plan to increase them next year. We are renovating the building but that will be finished soon. Kan Eang II has high competition, about 10 or 20 rivals. In the high season, our new promotion began in November: customers who buy t2000 baht or more food per table get a gift voucher from Tantara Spa free. For the high season, the number of customers increases about 10 percent. Kan Eang II tries to keep its high standards and the owner keeps a careful watch on quality by talking directly to the customers.
Comment from Marketing Manager Pongsak Pachantabut
Kan Eang II Restaurant is open 10am-10pm
What the management says: We offer fusion food (Seafood, European and Thai) and mostly have foreigners, an average of 60 to 80 each day. The total is down 20 percent compared with the same time last year. Our food prices vary a little depending on the daily price of fresh seafood. Customers do not complain because they know the food is fresh off the boat. In the high season, we have a campaign to provide discount coupons of 15 percent for buffet at the Patong beachfront and hope the customer numbers will rise to 100 people a day. The Sea Breeze is close to the beach and the Holiday Inn swimming pool, plus we have live music.
Comment from Assistant Manager: Khun Pornsak Habpanom
Sea Breeze Cafe and Terrace Restaurant is open 6.30am-10.30pm
What the management says: White Box offers Mediterranean and modern style food and can support about 200 persons and every day, we attract 30 to 40 people. Most customers are Thai, with a good mix of English and French. The economic downturn means numbers have dropped but we have regulars who come every weekend, it's more popular than Monday to Thursday. Our prices remain the same but wine ihas gone up 20 to 30 percent. We have no plans to add staff for the high season. White Box Restaurant has no serious competition because we do Mediterranean and modern food, different to other restaurants. In the high season, we expect customers to increase about 50 percent. Our promotion is for a ladies night every Saturday. From 4pm to 1am, ladies get get ticket for two free drinks, and the standard drink is 150 baht. White Box Restaurant is starkly modern and there are no other restaurants nearby.
Comment from General Manager Marc Antoine Audibert
The White Box is open 5pm-1am
What the management says: We do quite well with our fusion of Thai and European food, averaging about 180 people a day. Most customers are European, about 60 percent, with 35 percent from other parts of Asia and only five percent Thai. The economic downturn reduced the number of customers by 20 to 30 percent compared with the same time last year. Prices of food a la carte will be about 1500 baht a person in high season. Sala Bua Restaurant has plenty of competition in Patong. For the high season, we have a special campaign for customers who are American Express members. They will gain a discount of 15 percent. For ordering a dinner menu costing 2200 baht, they will pay just 1800 baht. Sala Bua adjoins the beach and our local and imported food is of the highest quality for high quality.
Comment from Restaurant Manager Thanakorn Dumnern
Sala Bua Restaurant is open 6.30am-Midnight
What the management says: The total number of customers is down compared with the same time last year. Mostly we have regular customers who keep coming back, and about 80 percent of those are foreign. We average 30 to 40 customers a day and our prices will not change for the high season. The Lighthouse (it used to be called Jimmy's) gives priority to keeping service standards higher than the neighboring competition. The total of customers this high season is not much different to last year. This high season, we will have a promotion campaign. When customers order food with a bottle of wine, they will be given a 20 percent discount.
Comment from Restaurant Manager Rattanaporn Jantawanich said:
The Lighthouse is open 8.30am-10pm