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Thursday, January 10, 2013

If You're Not a Hip New Restaurant, You're Probably in Trouble

Posted by on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Josh Ozersky at Time says last year was a tough one for restaurants:

It’s been a rough stretch for restaurants. While gastrocrats continue to support supper high-end tweezer-food palaces, the middle-of-the-road places have been hit hard by the recession. According to the market research company NPD Group, restaurant visits in the U.S. fell from 62.7 billion in 2008 to 60.6 billion in 2011. In an atmosphere like that, third and fourth generation businesses are particularly vulnerable.

Part of it is just age and decay. And part of it is that the restaurant business has become insanely, unsustainably competitive, especially in big cities: novelty is everything, and it’s rare that even the most critically lauded of places can sustain themselves for more than a few years

The bright side, of course, is that Americans are spending less on eating out. I recall back in 2008, bloggers were making a big deal out of how much we were spending on restaurants. Now we're just spending too much on the wrong kind of restaurants. That seems like some kind of progress.


Comments (9) RSS

Newest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
What, exactly, is so bad about eating out? It sucks preparing meals for one person and eating alone at home. If I had more time, I'd eat out more.
Posted by shotsix on January 10, 2013 at 6:53 PM · Report this
treacle 8
Someone should mention this posting to Charles...
Posted by treacle on January 10, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Fnarf 7
Spending less, or just visiting less? I ask, because it seems to me, quite unscientifically, that mid-level restaurant prices have gone through the roof in recent years. Much faster than the supposed inflation rate. I used to eat lunch out several days a week, but I had to stop because I can't get out of any of the places around here for under $20, with drink, tax and tip. And they're not doing it to gouge; restaurant costs are going way up too. The only places that are still cheap are places like taco trucks that make use of low-wage immigrant labor and cheap real estate (a truck and a parking space vs. a storefront). I don't know how older established non-hipster joints are surviving.
Posted by Fnarf on January 10, 2013 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 6

-->Thread break<--

Here's what's wrong with the world today.

I start to smell a kind of glue, paint smell in my apartment.

I open the door and it's all around.

So, I calls up the landlady, and I says, "uh, it stinks in here".

And the landlady say, "Yes, they're painting the apartment below you to get it ready."

And I say, well you can't just suffocate me.

And she says, "Yes, it's in the lease."

Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on January 10, 2013 at 3:38 PM · Report this
"supper high end?"
Posted by JOEY JOE on January 10, 2013 at 3:29 PM · Report this
Geocrackr 4
Time? Really?
Posted by Geocrackr on January 10, 2013 at 3:23 PM · Report this
raku 3
Vegan restaurants all seem to be booming and expanding. I can't remember the last one that closed.
Posted by raku on January 10, 2013 at 2:59 PM · Report this
I miss Tacos Gringos.
Posted by fad on January 10, 2013 at 2:58 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 1
You know, they could shrink portion sizes, realize that we are changing in terms of demographics, and stop helping Americans pig out.

It's always been a tough time for restaurants. Cash flow, turnover, unit prices, location, and the ability to withstand small downturns are critical to survival in the industry.

(caveat: only half of my relatives have run or managed restaurants, I'm just repeating what they say)
Posted by Will in Seattle on January 10, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this

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