Governments are strangling the restaurant industry. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
In January 2009, just three days after his inauguration, an arrogant President Obama, a “community organizer” and one-term senator from Illinois, proclaimed to then Republican Whip Eric Cantor that “elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.” Unfortunately, he was absolutely right and the consequences of Obama’s election, having already crushed the coal industry, are about to bring the restaurant industry crashing down as well.
To be fair, Obama hasn’t crushed the restaurant industry single-handedly. While Obamacare went a long way toward destroying the industry, it’s demise would not have been certain without a little help from leftist state legislators that have passed a slew of egregious minimum wage hikes in recent years (not that Obama didn’t try and fail twice to accomplish the same thing at the federal level). Add to that a multi-year run of near 0% interest rates that have driven commercial real estate soaring and a dash of “hope” from culinary grads looking to become America’s next famous celebrity chef and it’s easy to see that you’ve had a recipe for disaster simmering on low heat for years.
And while he avoided the political attributions we note above, a recent Thrillist article by Keven Alexander highlights the demise of one independently owned restaurant in San Francisco, AQ, that will be shutting down later this month for all the same reasons.
When it comes to minimum wage, Alexander highlights that just a $1 per hour minimum wage increase can reduce an independent restaurant’s already thin profit margins by $20,000, or 10%. So we imagine the $5 minimum wage hike that California just passed is probably slightly less than optimal for companies like AQ in San Francisco.
To continue reading: There’s A Massive Restaurant Bubble, And It’s About To Burst