Eat Quickly, We’re Closing.
THEY COME, THEY GO…THEY COME AGAIN. Restaurants that is. I can’t think of any venture tougher than the restaurant business. I read somewhere that 50% of all restaurants go belly up within their first year.
I’m not surprised.
What brings this whole thing to mind is that about six months ago a new eatery opened up near us and, based on good reports from some friends, we were planning to drop by this weekend for lunch. I found out this morning that it had been sold and that there was a “Coming Soon!” sign in the window. Dang! We are just going to have to eat quicker.
There was another café in the neighborhood that boasted “Texas BBQ” and they were really good. It was a family run place and the wife was from Terre Haute (That’s French for “Do the French do BBQ?”), but it was the hubby who ran the kitchen. He was from Texas. They lasted about a year, doing well, when the owner of the building got greedy and tripled their rent.
Goodbye Texas BBQ.
They have never resurfaced. It was a real shame. They were the only place in town where you could get homemade kolaches.
There are any number of reasons that restaurants go under. I think that most of the people who decide to open a restaurant don’t realize how much work is involved. It is a labor intensive industry with high startup costs and brutally long hours – far longer than the “Open” hours on the door.
A lot of cafes vanish overnight. There was a “Pancake House” across the street from my local St. Arbucks that had their “Grand Opening” on Sunday and a major fire on Friday. They didn’t even make it for one full week.
There is one member of my morning “Play Group” as my wife, the lovely and linguistically agile, Dawn, calls us, who had a brother whose business was buying and selling used restaurant equipment. One place goes under and another one opens up.
A couple of bad reviews can kill off a restaurant quicker than a grease fire. Serve up a couple bowls of Salmonella or Ptomaine and a “Coming Soon!” sign will be in the window before you can cook a three minute egg. Potential customers don’t like sitting at a table where the previous diners died.
The old cliché about opening a business is “Location, Location, Location.” Where you open up is vital. Many places have been doomed because they set up shop in a location that was difficult to get into and out of or had insufficient parking.
Restaurants come and go with the tide. A few will be successful, but most will fail for this, that, or the other reason. Lack of planning, lack of financial strength, and food poisoning will overwhelm all the good intentions and good barbecue sauce in the world.
Well, I’ve gone and done it again. I’ve made myself hungry and it is still two hours until lunchtime. I really should learn to schedule my writing time more efficiently around my schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (That would be supper if you are from Texas).
I really do miss those kolaches.