Its obvious the studios are telling their execs to pull back on expense account spending.
Just look at the crowds — or rather the lack thereof — at some of LA's most popular restaurants.
Once packed weekday hotspots are quiet. Dead quiet. The execs who used to snatch away the bill before it hit the table are now sitting back and waiting for their dining partner to offer. I'm not saying that development execs and agents aren't wining and dining. Yes, they are still lunching at the restaurants on Sunset Plaza and near CAA, the agency powerhouse. But with Sony Pictures Entertainment slashing 300 jobs, on top of layoffs at Universal, Paramount and Warner Brothers, industry players are tightening their belts.
Hollywood restaurants and bars are responding, wisely, with deep discounts. A smart move by the restaurants and telling of the times. Hotspots need constant clientele to stay hot (nothing's more of a turn off than a dead restaurant) so they're ginning up new happy hour menus and discount nights. Barely a day goes by that I don't get an e-mail promoting a new "deal" at a "super-cool" restaurant.