The Russian economy is going through a really rough patch. The financial crisis has not only cost the country some valuable foreign investors and a spike in inflation rate, it has also severely affected the local restaurant business.
Just since December, the recession has caused about 8 percent of restaurants in Moscow to shut down while experts predict the total number of closures will reach 30 percent by next month. If things continue the same way, more than a quarter will permanently close by the end of the year.
Many of the upscale eateries in Moscow have already shut down while people are expecting the local business scene to turn into a Hunger Games-style battle for survival as the restaurants struggle to remain open.
Industry experts have identified four major reasons for the decline in Moscow's restaurant business according to the Moscow Times. They believe that Russians being more frugal amid the economic downturn, the ban on importing many European foods, the ruble's rapid devaluation and the new paid-parking zones in the downtown, along with a ban on public smoking, are making the public less interested in going out to eat.
“In Moscow it used to be popular to invest money and open one's own restaurant just for fun or prestige, without calculating the real proceeds and without any idea about the restaurant business,” said Valentino Bontempi, an Italian chef. “I think that such restaurants risk disappearing first of all.”