News Update :

Debt crisis boom for Italian aperitivo buffets

Thursday, May 17, 2012

ITALY: As the austerity measures of Italy hit home, "aperitivo" is up with the Italians increasingly towards sumptuous buffet happy hour instead of the traditional sit-down restaurants to save money.

Drinks at a price of between six and 10 euros ($ 8 and $ 13) in a growing number of bars give customers unlimited access to a range of snacks ranging from chips and mini pizzas to sandwiches prepared, pasta dishes and dishes meat.

The "aperitivo" tradition - popularly known as "dinner for a poor man" - from Milan around a decade and has spread throughout the country.

It is most common in northern Italy, but the bars are now Aperitivo arise in parts of Rome and Naples, their popularity is spreading by word of mouth.

"It's not expensive. It allows you to leave without paying for dinner at a restaurant and he brings a lot of people," said Lucille, 24, owner of a trendy bar in an auto repair shop ancient Rome Trastevere.

"Maybe it makes you a bit big, but it's cheap.! Everyone can afford" Another patron in the bar lively one balmy spring evening, 34 years, Stefano said: "The The atmosphere is relaxed. You just have a good time "Most customers at the bar -"! Freni e Frizioni "- are young, but there was an older clientele that too could be better integrated into a trattoria.

"I found this buffet where you can eat well," said a customer in his 50s. Italy FIPE main restaurant association said: "happy hour" bars are booming while traditional restaurants closed because of the debt crisis.

The Italian economy fell into recession in the second half of last year and the crisis will deepen this year, with ordinary Italians feel the effects of tax increases, pension reforms and a raft of budget cuts .

"This is a business model that survives crisis and is in full bloom," association head Lino Stoppani told AFP in an interview.

The buffets at these "low prices" are very attractive, he said.

"Happy Hour is a cross between a traditional aperitif and supper. Consumers have a cheap dinner, "said Luciano Sbraga FIPE expert. AFP
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