Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Economy and The American Dream.

Driving to work in Charles Town, WV, this morning I stopped to pick up coffee at the drive-thru window of the Ranson Chic-Fil-A on Route 9. I don’t usually get my coffee at Chic-Fil-A… but there was such traffic at their drive in window I thought it must be pretty good.

Well, it wasn’t any different than the coffee at McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Sheetz, or the counter at Needful Things (which, as it turns out, is all that remains of an old F.W. Woolworth lunch counter).

But it made me think about the economy and why I buy coffee in the morning when I used to get a breakfast.

Life has gotten tighter… I spend less. Chic-Fil-A is priced the same as their fast food competitors, so it’s no real deal. The people who talk to you on the speaker and who hand you your stuff are unusually nice in a very Christian sort of way… this, of course, is because it is the “born again” fast food chain (as I discovered 9 years ago when I was working in Texas) which is closed on Sundays (has been, their sign says, since 1946… the year I was born).

Which left me with the kind of American Dream that made me chuckle: Chic-Fil-A bought out by an atheist organization and opening on Sundays… creating new jobs and earning millions. The economy rebounds as a direct result.

The cows are dreaming this, too.

Under The LobsterScope – Note: New URL.

1 comment

  1. I am always an interested observer with the economy.

    Not just with the habits of my customers–and I have to say right now, if you’re thinking about opening a restaurant right now, just throw your money out the window and let it blow away. It’ll do more good for your neighbors, and it’ll save you a great deal of frustration and stress–but with wholesalers, warehouses, and marketing.

    Now is a bad time to be running a high end concern. While elegant food is indeed its own reward, it’s hard to justify spending $400 to $600 on an amazing meal and wine.  Simpler is better as things get tight.  While there will always be some who support high end concerns–they aren’t doing as well as their owners hope. Most restaurants run about a 10-20% profit margin. More, if they rely on booze, but even then you have to sit on a fair amount of inventory.  While folks want quality, folks are moving more towards traditional fare.

    Traditional fare, and less extravagant fusion cuisines do well now. If you can provide bang for the buck–dinner and a show–then drive on.  Tiki bars do well, fusions of bars and arcades, sports bars, clubs with music and food. You have to increase your draw. Tough times is good for music, but it better be good. Now is not the time to invest in a poetry club…

    Currently still working for Glendale Arena–if you’re going to work with a sports team, they’d best win

    The guaranteed draw? Groceries.  People still need basics, and you provide that, you’ll do well. Part of the reason why Wallmart and the expanded Target stores that combine groceries and basic goods.  Now is a time when a lot of folks are going to lose their shirts. Bad or inefficient businesses are going to be flushed.  And oddly enough, because of the economy, folks are less inclined to use my services of folks like myself as consultants.  It’s an ugly cycle right now, but in the end, the better and stronger businesses will survive all this, and they’ll grow.  

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