no one in the restaurant industry will deny that it's a tough industry to be in. it's one of thin margins with the probability of survival against you. as the daughter of an ex-restauranteur, i know firsthand how difficult it can be. a few years before i went off to college, i watched my dad declare personal bankruptcy due to an ailing restaurant. it was a painful, painful affair for our family, and now with our country in a dire recession, i'm sure more and more restaurant owners have been forced to make the same painful decision. over the past few months as americans tighten their belts, we've all had to witness the pervasive effects of the economy. i've seen many neighborhood, ma-and-pa restaurants hang up their hats. i've been the only occupied table at restaurants that typically see a generous amount of traffic. i've been able to get reservations at choice restaurants that would have been impossible to get your foot in the door a year ago. as someone who's still haunted by the ghosts of restaurant bankruptcy, i find this all so incredibly sad and frightening.
everyday we hear the word "stimulus" in the news. i personally have no idea when all our tax dollars will actually trickle down and stimulate the economy but as food loving americans, it's time to take matters into our own hands. if you've got the money, if you've got a stable job and if you're not retiring anytime soon, i encourage you to go out and eat. show your favorite restaurant that you want them to survive this downturn. restaurants, unfortunately, don't work like most other businesses. there is no severence. based on the highly specific and non-transferrable skill set, there aren't many options for an out-of-work restaurant employee. the cost of closing a restaurant is high, and re-entry is even higher. for all those reasons, and because food will always be our greatest comfort and has the power to soothe in the toughest of times, go pick up that fork and dig in.