To be sure, rising inflation and fears of impending recession are making many consumers want to pull back on spending. But the picture may not be as gloomy as it seems for restaurant operators. As a recent CNBC report indicates, while people are feeling less optimistic about their finances, they are still showing willingness to spend money on experiences – including travel, concerts, movies and drinks – that could easily fall into the “discretionary spending” category. So how can restaurant operators keep this going and ward off a slowdown in traffic as we slide toward a possible recession? NPD Group advises focusing on providing value – and that’s not a euphemism for a lower-priced experience but rather one that justifies the price charged. It’s about carefully tracking how people respond to your prices and promotions so you understand at what point your guests will pull back on buying. NPD Group advises not lowering prices if guests remain willing to pay more, for example, and to adjust pricing as levels of various items in your inventory rebound. Give guests reasons to make impulse purchases. Offering memorable experiences of various kinds can do the trick, particularly as ongoing pandemic fatigue gives people a good excuse to make time to be with friends and family. Finally, continue to monitor excess costs and look for ways to trim them so you can make the most of what you do spend.