Restaurants Worried “Celebrating Out” Not in Peoples New Year’s Eve Plans

Wednesday, December 22nd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

As the old song says, “what are you doing New Year's Eve?” Are you hunkering down for possible Y2K-related problems or will you and your friends party late into the night? One industry is worried that not enough people have celebrating in their plans.

Last year at this time, Finale's restaurant in downtown Tulsa stopped taking reservations for New Year's Eve. For the upcoming Year 2000 celebration, the story is very different.
"This year, we're not even a quarter of the way there," said Finale’s Patrick Hobbs.
"I think a lot of people are concerned about the violence that might happen or the water supply being poisoned or the possible terrorism that's been in the news recently."

Why decide against a night of gourmet foods and fine wine? "We're just going to stay at home,” said shopper Regina Goff. “I bought a bottle of wine last night and a small bottle of champagne to celebrate." But Hobbs says he's concerned for his business, because of all of the people that are working on New Year’s Eve this year instead of celebrating. “I know that a lot of people down in the Williams Towers including the stockbrokers, the banks, and the Williams Companies, they're all working that night," he said.

Not everyone is spending a nice quiet evening at home. And not everyone is going to be at work. So where will the rest of the Y2K crowd be hanging out? “They’ll be having lots of home parties,” said Catering Connection’s Quentin Turner. “There’s not a lot of corporate parties being planned this year. Most people are celebrating with family and good friends."

In fact, some caterers are turning away business, because they don't have the staff to handle all of the business. "Especially in the evenings we have a lot of trouble finding good quality workers,” Turner explained.

Many restaurants around the Tulsa area, worry that many tables will be empty on New Year's Eve. So, if you haven't made your plans yet, your table is waiting.