Sales are up in Ashland's fast-food joints and down at sit-down eateries, receipts from the city's restaurant tax show.

Sales are up in Ashland's fast-food joints and down at sit-down eateries, receipts from the city's restaurant tax show.

Revenues from Ashland's food and beverage tax fell about 7 percent during the last half of 2008 from the same period a year earlier, said Lee Tuneberg, director of administrative services and finance for the city.

"I'm seeing that the reports from fast-food restaurants indicate more sales, because they're paying more tax," he said.

"Fast food seems to be up, but traditional food providers must be down."

Sales at the Ashland Burger King are up even though people are buying less expensive items from the meal, said Jason Federico, vice president of Applegate Restaurants Inc., which operates the restaurant.

"What we've seen people doing is trading down, buying more stuff on the dollar menu," he said.

Spending the day in Ashland no longer means eating at a fancy restaurant for Central Point resident Andrea Richardson.

Instead, when she and her partner went window shopping Thursday in Ashland, they dined at Wendy's.

Richardson said saving money on meals has become a necessity: Her partner, Dennis Adams, was recently laid off and the couple has a 4-month-old baby to provide for now too. Richardson said many of her friends and neighbors are facing similar situations.

"Money has been tight. We're trying to cut back. And so is everyone I know, everybody is trying not to spend as much," she said.

— Ashland Daily Tidings