Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

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BillyGr
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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by BillyGr » March 23rd, 2020, 1:45 pm

cjd wrote:
March 22nd, 2020, 5:54 pm
I don't know, to me one of the major things about getting food from a restaurant is the aspect of dining out, either by myself to get out of the house for a bit, or to meet up with someone.

Very rarely do I get food from a restaurant drive thru or take out to eat somewhere else. So I think I'd likely just eat at home more often and save the money if the option wasn't available. I haven't gotten any food from anywhere since the dine in ban has been in effect.

Maybe others feel differently on this. I won't get into all of it here but I think the whole internet age and social media is making people too un-social (and this is coming from an introvert who doesn't care to socialize much, but knows he needs to get out sometimes).
In this situation, I think the recommendation to still order from those places if you can (that is, assuming your finances aren't hurt too badly by it) is more to help those businesses (particularly if you have a favorite locally owned restaurant or two) keep themselves going and hopefully be able to at least pay some of their employees and thus help those people have money they need for other uses.

That way, once things return to a more normal state, these places will still be in business and you can then return to enjoying the aspects you mention.

Plus, when you are basically staying at home, that short drive (or walk) to the restaurant to pick up your meal will still give you a good reason to get out of the house for a bit and with some of the setups places have created is still a fairly safe way to do so.

And yes, that last paragraph is completely true - during times when several people can be in the same room, it makes no sense to be sending messages back & forth to each other over phones and such devices rather than simply relaying those messages in person by talking, but that does happen frequently.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Bagels » March 25th, 2020, 11:29 am

Bagels wrote:
March 23rd, 2020, 1:39 am
My best guess is this will help chains like El Torito. People ordering from El Torito may decide to add one of their margaritas (it's been awhile since I've ordered margaritas from them, but a quick Google search yields a $6 Happy Hour price, so I'm assuming they're regularly priced at least $8). Whether El Torito prices them at a special or full price, it'll still be a nice, welcomed profit. The lack of alcohol sales has got to be hurting them.
Surprise! I received an e-mail from El Torito advertising take home pitchers of margaritas for $25.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by storewanderer » March 25th, 2020, 11:47 pm

Landry's seems to still have its locations open for take out and something came out today saying they are doing about 5% of their normal volume as take out only. I suspect other casual dining chains are having similar results with take out only. Some of these chains are going to need to make the difficult decision on whether or not it is worth it or not to keep this going (at first it made sense to see how it would do and also to get rid of the food they had ordered).

Also I think fast food chains are hurting from this thing. I am seeing heavy offers out of Wendy's app (free Single with any purchase, free Breakfast Baconator with any purchase, free Chicken Biscuit with any purchase, and 5 or 6 other offers), and getting push messages from Chickfila (never got any of those before) multiple times each day now as I have their app downloaded on my phone.

But as this draws out I think people will get more tired of eating at home, and go find food out of the house again.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Bagels » March 26th, 2020, 12:41 am

Wendy's, Burger King and Jack-In-The-Box are pushing out some incredible deals at the moment ... and I just look at the push notifications. McDonald's has some great offers as well, including the first blanket BOGO coupon I've seen since 2018, but they're not pushing them through notification. Domino's and Pizza Hut were also offering large discounts off their entire menu, when normally discounts are applied toward pizza only.

Same with sit down restaurants. Tons of deals and discounts, and typically free delivery. Sadly, many are closing... Souplantation, Black Angus and Fuddruckers sent me e-mails in the last week or so saying they made the decision to temporarily close. I'm certain plenty of others will follow.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Alpha8472 » March 26th, 2020, 2:52 am

This could be a long term thing. A vaccine could be 12 to 18 months away. Coronavirus may become a new way of life. People will avoid crowds and move to take out or delivery. Dining rooms will close and many restaurant workers will be out of the job permanently.

Everything will shift to online ordering for delivery or take out. Restaurants were already looking to replace workers with online ordering or kiosks. The jobs will shift to delivery. Many sit down restaurants will close, and many more will convert to ghost kichens. We could see a restaurant apocalypse with many abandoned sit down restaurants across the country. Just months ago the unemployment rate was at an all time low and restaurants were constantly trying to recruit more employees. Now everything has changed. Unemployment could reach 20 percent. Many people will no longer be able to afford restaurant food. People will shift to supermarket food.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Bagels » March 26th, 2020, 3:24 am

The restaurant industry has become oversaturated in recent years, with many entrepreneurs taking advantage of the thriving economy, the trendy foodie scene that's shifting away from classic chains and mass vacancies created by the retail apocalypse. Many of these businesses were already struggling; the recession will simply be a catalyst toward their inevitable closure.

There will be some big losers. High-end/fine dining will struggle, just as it always does during recessions, when people trade down. Many chains that were already struggling -- for example, in Southern California: Mimi's Cafe, Claim Jumper, Marie Callanders, Black Angus, Cocas/Carrows, etc. -- will likely meet their fate as well. There will be some winners as well, mainly chains affording low-cost meals or in the position of offering heavy discounting while waiting for things to turn around. Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, pizza parlors, etc. shuttered mass locations during the worst of last recession, but turned into huge winners when things turned around.

And, of course, fast food will likely see a mix of winners and losers. Everybody will have to retort to discounting in the near-term, and weaker locations will shutter; higher-priced chains like Arbys will completely struggle in the interim. What will be interesting... is to see what happens to the new breed of fast casual, such as Habit Burger or Farmers Boy. Both will discount heavy, both will lose a lot of business in the short-term... but will it come back?

BTW, California now allows select fast food restaurants to accept EBT. I see mostly Jack In The Box advertising this.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by Super S » March 26th, 2020, 9:20 am

McDonald's is making changes to their menu and will end all-day breakfast:

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronav ... ast-2020-3

It is not clear if all-day breakfast will eventually return.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by klkla » March 26th, 2020, 4:41 pm

Super S wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 9:20 am
McDonald's is making changes to their menu and will end all-day breakfast:

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronav ... ast-2020-3

It is not clear if all-day breakfast will eventually return.
It seems like they removed all the healthy options :(

I don't really go to McDonalds anyways but there's definitely no reason for me to go now.
Let's get back to work! Test. Trace. Isolate.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by storewanderer » March 26th, 2020, 7:09 pm

Super S wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 9:20 am
McDonald's is making changes to their menu and will end all-day breakfast:

https://www.businessinsider.com/coronav ... ast-2020-3

It is not clear if all-day breakfast will eventually return.
I thought the all day breakfast was selling pretty well but I guess it must not have been. The grilled chicken and salads were clearly very slow sellers (was anyone buying them? I know I did buy the grilled chicken a number of times with the $1 any sandwich offer on the app over the years.. but the salads...?).

That is very unfortunate, but I guess it is okay. I can make my own Egg McMuffin like sandwich. I estimate it costs .33 for the muffin, .14 for the egg, .30 for a ham slice, and about .25 for 1oz of shredded cheddar cheese. Close enough to the real thing. I could go for an all out copy and buy some Canadian Bacon but I don't normally keep that around. Better than paying MCD 3.89 for sure.

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Re: Coronavirus and Empty Restaurants

Post by storewanderer » March 26th, 2020, 7:21 pm

Bagels wrote:
March 26th, 2020, 3:24 am

And, of course, fast food will likely see a mix of winners and losers. Everybody will have to retort to discounting in the near-term, and weaker locations will shutter; higher-priced chains like Arbys will completely struggle in the interim. What will be interesting... is to see what happens to the new breed of fast casual, such as Habit Burger or Farmers Boy. Both will discount heavy, both will lose a lot of business in the short-term... but will it come back?

BTW, California now allows select fast food restaurants to accept EBT. I see mostly Jack In The Box advertising this.
CA Fast Food have accepted the cash portion of EBT for a long time. Carl's Jr. has for years at certain locations (specifically corporate operated locations, if you can still find one).

Arby's is actually quite promotional, it is just many franchisees do not follow their promotions. But if you find a corporate Arby's or one run by one of the larger franchisees, you will see a few salty promotions. For instance, 2 for $5 or 2 for $6 various sandwiches. $1 2 PM to 5 PM "Happy Hour" with small fries, soda, shake, potato cakes, any slider, or any cookie.

I think Farmer Boys, despite my finding their product to be awfully bland yet at the same time too heavy on the stomach, and overpriced for what it is, may pick up business from the full service restaurants that go under given its heavy breakfast offering. Also they cook to order which significantly reduces food waste.

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