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Restaurants in a post-coronavirus world


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8 hours ago, Sneakeater said:

But in the end that's a little meaningless.  Eventually they'll be replaced.  Important for the owners of those restaurants, but maybe not so much (in the long run) to consumers.

In the long run we are all...

But I here that. My gut, however, is that this accelerates the trend towards large operator-run restaurants and restaurant groups (though I can be convinced otherwise).

The other question is which restaurants do we lose. If this is the death of a large number of classic or institutional restaurants, then those aren't as readily replaceable as the latest best new restaurant.

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Rich - The above is what you wrote and I highlighted the term "post-Corona" in both your posts.  That is all that was being responded to, in context, by Orik, me and then others.  No attempt was made

No, because I don't think the restaurant industry (at least in NYC) is fueled by people like you and me and the rest of us here.  It's fueled by people who are desperate to get out of their apartments

I am really nervous about what I am seeing out on the streets lately.. What I can only describe as absolutely piggish and gross behavior by certain restaurant owners..  Every neighborhoods has these r

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It's not just the restaurants that close and those that will replace them but what those replacement restaurants will look like.  Days of dining solo or with a partner at a bar surrounded by other diners is over. Will it be as much fun eating solo at a table? 

The prices will also be insane. I'm going to continue ordering food to be delivered online. 

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My guess is behavior is back to normal way faster than you think. Have you seen the footage from where things are reopening?

 

I'm also skeptical on the big restaurant group thing.  Maybe for the first year simply because of access to capital, but the relative scale advantage in restauranting is pretty small.  It's basically outsourced labor in a room.

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I'm not surprised at the behavior where re-opening is taking place, but it's still too early to know what the consequences of that behavior will be.

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1 hour ago, Anthony Bonner said:

My guess is behavior is back to normal way faster than you think. Have you seen the footage from where things are reopening?

 

I'm also skeptical on the big restaurant group thing.  Maybe for the first year simply because of access to capital, but the relative scale advantage in restauranting is pretty small.  It's basically outsourced labor in a room.

I think we are back to normal in terms of behaviour way quicker than people expect, but I think the economic damage is bad. Also, this:

Image

 

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While we're guessing, I'll put in that I agree that behavior will move back to "normal" pretty quickly for most people, especially in big cities with small apartments like NYC.  If my local fave Noodle Pudding re-opened, we'd be sitting at the bar eating dinner the first nite, the way we did on the last night it was open.  Same with a couple of other local places (La Vara, Bklyn Heights Wine Bar, Henry's End...) that we've supported thru gofundme during this and that I wouldn't hesitate to return to almost immediately.  And, in case anyone forgets who Ginny & I are, age wise, and how we've reacted, cautiousness-wise, during this plague, let me assure you that we're not in the "young & impulsive" category (old and idiotic?).  However, I also think that many small restaurants (and maybe bars) will fail to re-open, as will many other small "entertainment" venues. That may not be a bad thing on several levels, not the least of which is that I really think that the market was way over saturated before this. 

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Its a very unique situation. And everyone is letting their priors dominate their thinking. You would be very hard pressed to find a recession where the capital cycle played no part what so ever. Really its a question of how permanent the consumption decline is rather than the decline the capital investment. Ordinarily that is a pretty reverting time series. If you actually look at who is losing their jobs, most of them are materially below the mean wage (that's how the BLS discloses it.). And if you look at the Personal Consumption data the bottom two deciles are a pretty small share of total PCE. And you've just skyed G as well

I think a lot of restaurants are going to go bust and I think a lot of new restaurants are going to open (after a time) - but to think GDP is impaired I think means you think savings rates for the top half of the income distribution are permamently higher  - which historically is a bad bet.

Ultimately we really have no idea, but history doesn''t feel like a wonderful guide.

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Btw.  Saving in March were 13% of wages. 8 in Feb. You know april is gonna be higher.  Wages are like 40% of gdp. So that's a big slug of consumption coming back - and my guess is I'd you had income tabs for that the 80+ percentile is up more.

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On 4/2/2020 at 12:25 AM, Anthony Bonner said:

The idea that people won't literally burst out into the streets when this is over seems weird to me.  Like when people said no one would fly again after 9/11. That said be prepared to get your temp taken a lot and probably wear masks in public places.

Living on more or less the other side, I wouldn't say bursting exactly but people definitely keen to get back to some semblance of normal life. People are sitting in cafes, just further apart. So long as the R number stays relatively stable around 1 it seems to be working OK. 

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18 hours ago, Steve R. said:

While we're guessing, I'll put in that I agree that behavior will move back to "normal" pretty quickly for most people, especially in big cities with small apartments like NYC.  If my local fave Noodle Pudding re-opened, we'd be sitting at the bar eating dinner the first nite, the way we did on the last night it was open.  Same with a couple of other local places (La Vara, Bklyn Heights Wine Bar, Henry's End...) that we've supported thru gofundme during this and that I wouldn't hesitate to return to almost immediately. 

Even when (and if) our favorite places reopen, I can't see us sitting at the bar eating dinner the first night. Or the second, or the third...

I think that's just begging for trouble, and we'll probably be waiting a long time (cure, vaccine, herd immunity) before heading to a restaurant or, say, City Winery to see a show.

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I absolutely understand your reluctance.  However, our opinion is that, given how slowly our NYC government is proceeding, my guess is that the actual 1st day open will occur weeks after a risky 1st day would’ve been.  DiBlasio is talking mid-June for phase 1, which probably means August (at least) before either of us will get to make this decision.  I could write a dissertation on why I think this pace is wrong headed & disguises the lack of proactive measures the city could be taking to assist moving forward faster but safely.

On a separate, but related, matter, at least NYC has now moved away from up & down arrows for each indicator & is using threshold lines.    

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23 minutes ago, joethefoodie said:

Significant Eater's office isn't looking at reopening until maybe September, and even then not expecting anyone to come back to the office until maybe next year.

The numbers might differ by field, but I can tell you in software development we're more than 30% below previous (already pathetic) productivity levels. Working from home hasn't suddenly started working. 

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16 minutes ago, Orik said:

The numbers might differ by field, but I can tell you in software development we're more than 30% below previous (already pathetic) productivity levels. Working from home hasn't suddenly started working. 

Wow.  Interestingly, and obviously different fields, she's getting more work done than before. There even seems to be a fair amount of hiring going on, whether it's backfill or new positions.

Less interruptions, maybe? Food delivered straight to her table, maybe?

And much of the work force already works remotely, so that's also a reason why it hasn't negatively affected them, I think. Everyone is used to it, and already equipped for it.

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And a growing software segment is, of course, software to track productivity.

Meanwhile, this weekend might give some indication of how younger New Yorkers, at least, respond to opening up (when it's not raining, anyway). I just took a walk to Foxface and back, and people are already foregathering in front of bars.

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