Question about national economy...

Joined Aug 7, 2013
Did the economic crash of 2008 hurt the higher-end of the restaurant industry? The economy is currently headed to a bad place and I'm concerned about job security.
Joined Dec 23, 2004
Seems like it depended a lot on where you were. Didn't impact me a lot where I lived at the time but it probably depends on a lot of things.
Joined Sep 21, 2001
What I remember was 2008 was bad if you were a franchise place. Frozen yogurt places and such took a beating.
Joined Dec 13, 2018
Location is the most important thing during a crash. If you're in a rural area or smaller city, it will be much harder to get by. In metropolitan areas, your restaurants reputation will either carry you through or bury you. People have less money to spend and want the best they can get for their limited play money. If you're worried, I'd suggest perfecting some great value to the customer/cheap cuts for your menu. If it's just about employment, I wouldn't worry too much. People have to eat and love to go out. Just because the economy tanks doesn't mean people quit spending. Especially in America.
Joined Mar 1, 2017
The economy is fine. A drop on Wall Street does not mean the economy is crashing.

2008 was a perfect storm of factors that all came together in one disastrous mess. The bottom fell out of the auto industry, the housing market and the insurance industry all at once. That's not happening now. Much of the "sky is falling" claims about the market crashing are being featured in those media outlets that have been against this administration from the outset. But, if your source of information is certain corporate news outlets, you may want to take what they have to say with a fist full of salt.

To answer your question, as long as people have disposable income to spend on going out to eat, the restaurant industry should be fine. If you work in a fine dining establishment, the "regulars" there are typically better suited financially to weather bumps and drops in the stock market.

I don't think you have anything to worry about at this time. :)
Joined May 30, 2015
Touching on what some ofthe others said, it actually hit franchise/casual dining worst since their customer base is mostly middle class consumers who are usually the worst ones hit in a crash. Fine dining restaurants cater to a clientele who is usually more insulated from the ebbs and flows of the market, and fast food restaurants usually do better since middle class diners trade down to save money.

Fast casual also usually does good in a recession since it's essentially high-tier fast food, but fast casual sales usually drop significantly when the economy picks back up.

On a side note, I'm not positive about the economy. Just looking at millenial job prospects, new job creation, wages, etc, I don't think we ever truly recovered after 2008 - just hit a decade-long plateau before reaching the edge of the cliff that we're about to fall off of. Nothing to do with who's in office, just the end-result of a non-partisan deep state run by corporate lobbyists and bankers. Time to stock up on ammo, gold bullion and MREs.
Joined Mar 6, 2015
The great recession taught me to work in a large operation. Casino, large hotel, or a country club. Other than that large conglomerates thats oversee schools colleges and large corporations. Independent restaurants just dont have the capital.
Joined Oct 29, 2012
Did the economic crash of 2008 hurt the higher-end of the restaurant industry? The economy is currently headed to a bad place and I'm concerned about job security.
One thing I remember about the 2008 crash was that a number of high end restaurants in NYC had to reinvent themselves as high end burger joints...or at least make burgers and fries a big part of their menu.
Joined Aug 19, 2012
Fine dining establishments and steak houses took the biggest beating in the last recession according to the National Restaurant Associations annual report. In a recession, the higher end restaurants always get hit the worst because people who know how to make money also know how to keep it.

Full service chain restaurants took a beating too, but it had more to do with the emergence of the fast casual sector than it did the recession. People stopped eating at TGI Fridays and started eating at Chipotle.

Overall, the restaurant industry continued to grow through the last recession, but the growth happened in the higher value concepts, not the higher priced concepts. The fast casual sector and fast food sectors ate everyone else's lunch.

I wouldn't fret too much about the economy though. Recessions happen when bubbles pop. Bubbles are caused by cheap credit. This last drop happened after the Fed started raising the price of credit. A stock market drop doesn't have a lot to do with the economy. As long as people are working, and wages are growing, the economy is fine. There is more upward wage pressure in the food service industry now than there has been in my entire working career. I'm 44. Unemployment is low. Even "real" unemployment is low. We've had several things testing the strength of the economy from the Fed increases and the Chinese trade war. It hasn't budged wage inflation or unemployment. It's only created volatility in the stock market which has mostly recovered.
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