But sales have fallen in three of the last six months, and their pace of expansion is undoubtedly easing. Restaurant stock prices have fallen in recent days on the heels of less-than-sterling earnings reports from major restaurant chains like McDonald's and Chipotle. Buffalo Wild Wings actually exceeded sales expectations in the second quarter, but the company indicated it was battling through a "challenging environment" in a statement accompanying its most recent financial report.I know a couple of small restaurant owners who are doing quite well. Of course they are family businesses so they can escape the effect of some of the hegemon's worst rules. They respond quickly to changing customer demands, whereas a Micky D simply cannot.
The cities with $15 minimum wage rules share other policies (parking meters until late at night, etc) all designed to break the small businesses who have long term leases or own property that big developers want. One small restaurateur has been in 3 locations in 3 years, but still does well. That is quite a trick given the infrastructure a restaurant requires. On one hand the hegemon harrasses him, on the other hand he has a loyal customer following. Advantage small business.
The food truck phenomena is the answer to the dearth of eateries, and helps kill the ones that are left. By licensing food trucks the shortage of corner eateries caused by developer-dictated city policies is temporarily eased. And as the developers finish a project and put in a chain restaurant, food truck licensing is saturated so no one is making money.
At the same time, I was speaking to the manager of an upscale grocery store. This place is not afraid of a profit, catering to those with staggering disposable incomes: government appointees, doctors, lawyers, etc. She told me proudly many of her employees were ex-restaurant owners. Oh.
Well, the Hegemon can get a steady stream of taxes from an employee, whereas a restaurant is a lifestyle with most expenses written off. It can be done, but obviously running a small restaurant is a tough biz indeed. The hegemon lies awake at night agonizing that someone, somewhere, might be thriving and happy.
So what? It's always been that way, so forget about complaining and get to work on your own business.
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