Monday, 25 March 2019

Restaurants - CHANGE..............from Rico

The only 'constant' is CHANGE.
- Change can be for the better, worse...or indifferent whether politics or restaurants.
When I first made FL my residence (late '70's-early '80's?) the neighborhood restaurant was the long-established "Little Red Schoolhouse" [think: Bob Evans,only with flavor aka Southern 'comfort food'].
- When I returned decades later, it had morphed into "The New England Alehouse" which had a menu so good it would eventually put them out of business. [An episode of 'Restaurant Turn-arounds' or whatever the TV show is called - I don't watch TV - was just filmed there, right before it failed]
- The same location is now "Das Brauhaus" which I haven't yet tried, but has 'Schnitzel' painted in the window (I saw no 'Schnickengruben', however). We'll try it and see...I know what 'schnitzel' is supposed to taste like, having lived in Germany.*
There was another nearby restaurant "Catcher's in the Rye" which had THE best 'Brunch' menu I have seen, be it Tokyo, Hong Kong, or wherever.
- The only lasted a few years.
- The same location now boasts the "Iron Oak BBQ" which has a wonderful menu, and a yuge 'smoker' out back...the 'barbeque' [think: barbacoa] being a verb and not a noun. I'll enjoy it while it's smokin'...the menu is too good to sustain a profit, I suspect.
If I seem harsh, let's say realistic. When I was briefly involved in Commercial Contracting, I hated...let me say that again HATED building restaurants.
- Sure, they had really 'interesting' designs and themes [think: "Shenanigans" from the movie "Waiting" which I highly recommend btw, if you've not watched it I think it's the "Office Space" of restaurants...but I digress{ because they were on such tight budgets that when the  work had been finished, and they had to choose between paying the contactual 10% retainage to the contractor or paying for the cash register...guess what? The place being done, needed a cash register to open for business and the contractor had to sue and screw to get 50-cents on the dollar owed (if lucky upon judgement, after legal fees you could 'win' and still 'lose' money).
My point?
1. It is not urban myth that the small businesses with the highest failure rate are restaurants.
2. The 'trend' is not the restaurant's friend:
- Case in point. People are eating self-cooked food more often now that they have more 'options' and can control the contents themselves (salt, sugar, fat, carbs).
a. Last year I started using an air-fryer at home. It made healthier meals quickly, and it was easy to make "chicken wings" (American), "Nasi Goreng" (Indonesian), or "Fried Rice" (Asian) without any of the msg or crappy synthetic oils restaurants use.
b. This year I am using an Instant Pot (digital pressure-cooker) and have so far made an easy-healthy version"Bulgogi" (Korean)...and future menu options seem limitless.
WHY go spend money...sometimes serious money...on restaurant food that has been 'doctored'  with 'stuff' to taste better?
- IF this is a 'trend' then it does not bode well for an already marginally-profitable restaurant business. 


Mark Matis said...

I hate to break this to you, but a large number of the mom-and-pop restaurants in Florida are run by people who have retired here from the Big Craphole and other northern hives, and who found they were bored sitting around in their retirement village, and then decided to go out and open a restaurant like they used to run in their hive up north. They don't care if they make money. They've got enough to live on from their retirement. They want to get to SEE people who are willing to talk with them. And a restaurant does that in spades, if they have any skill at all. Of course, anyone foolish enough to open a competitor to them that actually has to EARN money is guaranteed failure. ESPECIALLY if they are stupid enough to try to start in any Florida hive with a significant number of retirees from the northern shitholes.

Dan Patterson said...

I learned to cook early - I discovered mom was not going to be around forever and on the spot asked her to show me how she fried eggs. Much more satisfying and rewarding to cook at home, bring friends over, relax with good conversation and without a worry about a dui. The only plus for eating out is variety and convenience.