Luby's Celebrates Its Birthday with Half-Price LuAnn Platters

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Luby's announced a little stimulus package of its own - the Houston-based cafeteria has cut the price of its LuAnn platter in half for Fridays and Saturdays after 4:30 p.m. That leaves the price at somewhere around four bucks, depending on location. The reduction will remain in effect until the end of February and doesn't apply to take-out orders. (Guys looking to get out of a relationship without actually having to do the breaking-up yourself - please note that Valentine's day falls on a Saturday...)

The move is ostensibly in celebration of the 62nd birthday of the restaurant (still younger than most people who dine there!), but getting people to actually spend money on eating out may have a little something to do with it. Same store sales decreased 6.7 percent in the first quarter of the company's 2009 fiscal year, which ended in November. Management attributed that to fewer customers (astounding insight), saying the losses were partially mitigated by price increases. (Apparently for the real Luby's devotees, the bounty in those sweet steam trays is what economists refer to as an "inelastic good" and what laymen know as "some shit you gotta have.")

But even tougher times have apparently led the company in the opposite direction. Lucky for us - less than $5 for half an order of fried fish (extra tartar sauce), mac and cheese (not as good as Cleburne's, but it'll do) and fried okra (technically a vegetable) is a pretty sweet deal, especially considering your average fast-food combo meal now runs $6 to $7. Just skip the Jell-O, fill your glass with water and hope for better times.

- Blake Whitaker

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