Restaurants are seeing fewer bookings for Lunar New Year's Eve, even though it is one of the most important events on the family calendar. 'Bookings for the end-of-year and new-year dinner have dropped by up to 10 per cent over a year earlier,' said Raymond Li Chak-wah, director of the Pak Loh Chiu Chow Restaurant group, which has five restaurants in the city. He believed bookings had been affected by the financial crisis, and said most reservations so far had been made by either friends or frequent diners. To woo more customers, Mr Li said his restaurants would offer cheaper dishes, although food prices had surged in the past 12 months. Hong Kong Federation of Restaurants and Related Trades president Simon Wong Ka-wo expected restaurants to see a slight drop in business - by 5 per cent - on Lunar New Year's Eve. But bookings for the spring dinner, which usually takes place in the first month of the new year, were looking gloomier. 'People have spent a lot of money last month and the period between Lunar New Year and Christmas is shorter than usual.'