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Holiday parties scaling back

Nov. 1, 2008 at 12:56 PM

NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Caterers say tighter budgets and financial worry are taking their toll on corporate holiday party planning.

"Everyone is very conscious of the fact that while Rome is burning, we shouldn't be having a great time," said Sean Driscoll, a partner in Glorious Food caterers in New York. "Nobody's ordering caviar as a first course."

ABC News has canceled company-sponsored holiday celebrations this year, while restaurateur Danny Meyer said his catering company lost three "grand-scale" parties when they were canceled by three investment banks, The New York Times reported Saturday.

Those going forward with parties are planning simpler menus, fewer guests, shorter hours and a less glamorous atmosphere, the Times reported.

"It's important to get people together for a little social event at that time of year, especially when it's been as tough a year as this," said Peter Horowitz, spokesman for the Wall Street firm Shearman & Sterling.

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