With all due respect to restaurant owners working hard to make a dime my take on this is a bit from the norm. This is just my 2 cents, and only my opinion.
First off, the media tends to create mass drama and are fully capable of making it happen just to have a news story. Sure times are tough and have been tough but I don’t think times are as tough as people make it out to be. People are still eating out, buying houses, starting businesses and surving in this so called “recession”
This company which has 92 stores, I wonder if it was really the economy which drove them out. Perhaps it was poor management. I would imagine someone owning 92 stores and ALL of them closing… closed, not because of a recession but because of their inability to pay debt. Our society has come to believe debt is normal, a way to wealth. Borrowing money doesn’t lead to wealth.
When someone files bankruptcy it is because they can’t pay debt, not because sales are down. (Even though I understand slumping sales may cause this to happen) A sign of great management would be a business built on a rock foundation, minimal or no debt. One built on loans and high overhead are quick to sink because it is built on sand.
Our original location without a doubt over the last 14 years has survived many economic downs because and only because it was NOT engulfed in debt. The low overhead allowed the variables costs to change with the slump in sales.
A so called “recession” last about 18 months. If your company didn’t have debt it could ride the storm out, but if you are smothered in debt and living “paycheck to paycheck” “daily sales to daily sales” I don’t think you would last more than a year, just missing the turn around of the economy.
So we can blame the economy all we want but I think it comes back to us, the owners, who make decisions which impact our survival during tough times.
So for me the lesson to be learned is:
Our society has become a society which thinks debt is normal. It is not. A debt free person (company) never files bankruptcy. Just because we can get a loan doesn’t mean we can afford it.
Again, just my 2 cents.