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Old 07-31-2008, 09:52 AM   #1
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Restaurant closings

Did anyone read the article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal about Metromedia Restaurant Group filing for bankruptcy and immediately, overnight, closing around 200 restaurants, laying off about 9,200 people? The restaurants were Bennigan's and Steak and Ales. More closings are expected.

And Geebs talking about an $800 fuel oil bill.

It seems to me we are in uncharted territory with rising costs and an uncertain job market.

I understand 200 restaurants is a small number. Am I crazy for thinking this is unsettleing?

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Old 07-31-2008, 09:56 AM   #2
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I find a lot of the news unsettling that I see lately. Read the one below. This should never happen.

More Women Donating Eggs - Las Vegas News Story - KVVU Las Vegas

I have read about poeple cancelling doctor appointments, because, they can't buy gas to get there.

It is all very unsettleing.

AC
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:58 AM   #3
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I have to believe all the closings are a correction of bad decisions when the economy was good...
Such as Starbucks. Sometime stores across the street from one another? I mean come on, really, did they think that was going to last forever?
I think people got punch drunk spending beyond thier means with credit cards (like the retard that I am) and home equity, and companies feed on it......
Then oil and corn came in to play and didn't really help much.....
Aside from oil and food I believe its a correction.
There are other factors with the oil and food that are just a little too political for me to get into my views.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Yeah I heard about the Bennigan's closings. That is really scary.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:01 AM   #5
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It was big news here where I live. We had 3 restaurants in our immediate area. It was reported that the managers got phone calls early in the morning telling them not to open. Some employees didn't get the news until they showed up for work to find everthing locked up. Yes things are unsettling right now but we are still way better off than a lot of places. Think Sudan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Haiti for example. I just read in the paper today that in Zimbabwe, they just issued a 100 billion dollar bill which will not even buy a loaf of bread. We may be in for some changes but I think we can handle them.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:06 AM   #6
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Yeah I heard about the Bennigan's closings. That is really scary.
... and probably just the beginning. not good times, folks...
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:08 AM   #7
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I think that we had better get used to this trend and adjust accordingly. The first things to go in a weak economy are recreational and travel related. Restarants and hotels have the same problem as you and I, increasing costs and a stable or declining renenue stream. Many of the costs of a restaurant are fixed, rent, utilities, etc. Another thread asks how to save money in the kitchen I am using mine more and Flemings and Ruth's Cris's less.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:12 AM   #8
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The part that does scare me is that there are som people (myself included) that have already cut out everything.... I mean everything. Not even pay-per-view..... no dinners out, no movies, no even extra driving to the lake.... I'm afriad of what will go next.
Yes internet and sattellite could go.... probably cell phones but I dont like driving around with kids without one.....
I will have to pick up more work and that will help quite a bit, so I really am not whining, just hoping I can get some ... but what about people who cant get more work for whatever reason...
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
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I think we have to do more thinking outside the box. Our lives are changing and we will have to operate differently. I feel we live close to the ground, but we can still do more. We still have three vehicles for two people.

Today I am messing with canning onion relish. Huh? I never heard of onion relish. But I have a bumper crop of onions and want to preserve some. I will be doing more canning this year. We may not be buying a 1/2 hog this year, mostly because our supplier is not raising any this year, but we can eat more vegetables this year and less meat. I know we are going to be butchering more goats this fall than we ever have before. Changes are a coming, and we each will figure out for ouselves how we cope.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:37 AM   #10
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I don't have an answer either, especially in the short term. As we speak, we are using 3 million barrels of oil per day more than are available. Any solutions other than not eating are long term. I am a RE appraiser, and so my job is faily secure. I get you when you buy, when you refinance, and when you get foreclosed. However, I get less per appraisal now than in 1990.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by bethzaring View Post
Did anyone read the article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal about Metromedia Restaurant Group filing for bankruptcy and immediately, overnight, closing around 200 restaurants, laying off about 9,200 people? The restaurants were Bennigan's and Steak and Ales. More closings are expected.

And Geebs talking about an $800 fuel oil bill.

It seems to me we are in uncharted territory with rising costs and an uncertain job market.

I understand 200 restaurants is a small number. Am I crazy for thinking this is unsettleing?
We used to frequent a Steak and Ale in an adjoining town. They really went downhill in the past 4-5 years. They revamped the menu a couple years ao, but it still wasn't anything to write home about. About the only thing good there was the salad bar and sweet bread. We think they married a Stoli bottle with some other off the wall vodka at one point, too.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:12 AM   #12
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I think that may be the good result of this, if there is a good result. In the end, the better and more worthwhile entertainments, be it restaurants, travel, motels, or other, will survive, and the mediocre and worse will die. That is the market system, and it always works if it is left alone.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:25 AM   #13
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We have cut back on many things. Dining out is seldom, heat managed, didn't turn on the sprinklers this year (didn't need to as it turns out), making more price friendly meals. Between the cost of oil, food, my health insurance our income just can't keep up and live like we were. Add to that the cost of college and a wedding in Oct. I even gave up pedicures!! And that's a joke so please don't jump all over me!

I did read that restaurants that service the middle class are having trouble but alas there is much more to come.
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Old 07-31-2008, 11:34 AM   #14
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Bennigan's and Steak and Ale's closed around here years ago - I seriously didn't even know there were anymore Steak and Ale's open.

I agree Beth - uncharted territory. We have been used to "having" for a very long time and everyone is now going to have to live a different way. That's not necessarily a bad thing either - - - just new to us.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:13 PM   #15
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Don't worry about it....Enjoy your day, your week-end, and next week too! These are the good ole days!!! We must enjoy them while we may!!

Have Fun & Enjoy!
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:17 PM   #16
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It's gone way past 'unsettling'. It's disturbing to the point of fear for one's future.
I said several months ago that the high end restaurants could last a bit longer than the types of restaurants that cater to the middle class. High end can survive because the upper class hasn't really been effected by the recession overmuch.
It's only a matter of time before the street vendors are gone, too...
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
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things are unsettling right now but we are still way better off than a lot of places. Think Sudan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Haiti for example. I just read in the paper today that in Zimbabwe, . We may be in for some changes but I think we can handle them.
Comparing the United States of America to Ethiopia or Haiti with regards to finance is like comparing a Great White to a guppy. America has been a land of opportunity and endless supply since birth. Suggesting we find solace in not having blight and famine and disease when we are accustomed to the cup overfloweth will bring little peace. We have been 'the world power'.... With all due respect, the countries you mentioned have never been stable places, financially.

Some people are handling the changes by stealing manhole covers from city streets to sell as scrap metal. A 1 ton bronze statue of a horse was stolen from a local racetrack, cut down and sold for scrap metal. That's how some people are 'handling' it. Depression is being documented in record numbers. Spousal abuse has shown a slight increase. Health maintenance appointments are cancelled because the co-pay is unaffordable.

Yes, America is resillient and will recover, but handling it isn't the issue. Policies have to be implemented.
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Old 07-31-2008, 12:35 PM   #18
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hmmmm... manhole covers......
How many pounds of steak you think I can get for one of those??
And I thought I was getting desperate by selling my baby stuff rather than donating it this time....
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Old 07-31-2008, 01:37 PM   #19
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Supposedly Bennigans and Staek and Ale closed because of the parent company's exceptionally poor management. So I think suzie raises a good point.
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Old 07-31-2008, 02:09 PM   #20
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Most businesses fail because of bad management or bad ideas. We haven't had a Bennigans or Steak and Ale around here that I know of in a while. I think that mediocre anything gets a closer look when the economy tightens up. There are others that are going to have problems. IMO, Starbucks, is one, maybe Ruths Cris. Admittedly biased since I don't like either one. Circuit City is near gone. This one is most decidedly because of management and ideas.
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