A wire-service article in the Lafourche Daily Comet chronicles the close of Gheens, LA’s sole restaurant, Debbie’s Cafe. Cafe proprietor Debbie Guillot cites the uptick in seafood prices as the reason for her 6-month-old restaurant’s untimely demise.
Pardon me for being a hard-hearted Hannah, but I don’t think the uptick in shrimp prices killed this little cafe. Couldn’t she tweak her menu a bit, taking seafood poboys off the table until prices stabilize? Why not strive to make a killer cheeseburger poboy, or a pressed Cuban? Or go barbecue? (Remember, it’s the only restaurant in town; ANY niche can belong to her.) By some estimates, 90% of all new restaurants fail within their first three years. (See comments, where Frolic & Bear point out that restaurants don’t fail at a rate any higher than the average small business. As it turns out, stats are very slippery on small-business closure rates.)
Once again, an out of town wire service reporter finds exactly the angle he seeks, regardless of the angle’s veracity. Real reporters call wholesalers and verify the increase in shrimp prices, providing numbers to support their stories. Real reporters dig beyond the superficial into the complex.