Business

Biting cold puts a freeze on restaurant business

Bonbon Pastry & Cafe in Cleveland has been closing early because of dwindling business brought on by the cold weather. Some merchants have reported sales being cut in half.
Bonbon Pastry & Cafe in Cleveland has been closing early because of dwindling business brought on by the cold weather. Some merchants have reported sales being cut in half.Associated Press

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The homemade matzo ball and beef barley soups are lost on customers walking into Rascals’ NY Deli — because there just aren’t very many of them.

‘‘After it starts getting really cold and the sun goes down, the people don’t want to come,’’ said Randy Smith, manager of the restaurant in the Cincinnati suburb of Blue Ash.

Across much of the eastern half of the country, bitter cold and snowstorms in recent weeks have put a chill on restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops, limiting the number of walk-in customers and shrinking tips. Some merchants report sales cut in half.

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