The sky is NOT falling! Turn off the TV!

No, the sky is not falling and is not going to in the foreseeable future.
Despite the words of pundits and prognosticators on virtually every TV channel these days, this is not a realistic assessment of where the American economy is headed.

And more importantly, those who believe everything they hear help to perpetuate what could become a self-fulfilling prophecy - and that is the frightening part of what's been happening in recent months. We know of one operator who laid off an employee - not because business was so bad, but because he wanted to "be prepared" for what might lie ahead.

A friend and I were discussing this last night offer dinner at the bar of Legal Sea Foods' restaurant on Boston harbor. It's one of those restaurants that always seems to be busy, and while it was quiet when I arrived around 6:30, it quickly got fuller.

This in itself tells me that on a chilly Wed. night, people are still finding it's a 'fine time to dine' or a fine time to gather with friends over a glass of fine and a bowl of chowder.

The University of Chicago Alumni Assocation in Boston recently had an emeritus professor of economics, Robert Aliber, as a guest speaker. The room was absolutely packed.

Professor Aliber spoke a year ago, predicting the course of the Dow and other economic indicators and all of his predictions, it seems, were one that came to pass.

This year, with an economy that sometimes feels like a nightmare, many apparently felt it was even more important to hear what he said.
Speaking about Iceland's difficulties this year, he noted that in that country, the cod are "still running nicely, it still has hydro and geo-thermal power and human capital. Renegotiating debt contracts will take a year. But, the real assets are still there and the same is true in the United States."

The year ahead, he believes, "will be difficult with more bankruptcies and foreclosures. But the decline will diminish after the first quarter of 2009."

After a year of no growth, the economy will turn positive, Aliber forecasts. "The economy of the world is...just stalled," he says. "We'll come out of this restructuring and see growth of three to four percent."

The forecast was heartening. Those who cackle and flap will merely make the situation all the worse. This is a time to evaluate how to move through hard times most effectively without panic. And it's going to be a 'fine time to dine"!

Views: 0

Tags: dining, economic, forecast, outlook

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh

Comment by susan holaday on December 8, 2008 at 9:41am
Couldn't agree more, but I have the same bias! Still, panic never leads to anything except making a bad situation worse. And you could make a case for doing more advertising/marketing in bad times because you need to get your brand/products out there in front of more people who might have a need for them, if not immediately, then down the road when they do. Otherwise, when the need arises, they'll go to those sources that have left some kind of impression with them through advertising, presence at trade shows, etc.
Comment by Paul King on December 8, 2008 at 9:34am
As a trade magazine editor, I must admit a certain bias when it comes to this, but I fail to understand why, when the economy gets tight, foodservice manufacturers and suppliers fold up their ad budgets quicker than an unlicensed New York City street vendor makes his cart disappear. What is your alternate marketing strategy? You mean there is none? Then how do you plan to keep your name out in front of customers--who, by, the way, still need your products because they still must feed people. Conventional economic wisdom tells us "spend money to make money." Even the Bible tells what happens to the man who took his master's money and buried it because he was afraid to risk losing it. Perhaps I'm naive, but I think companies can help the economy come back more quickly if they refuse to panic and make only the most prudent of cuts.
Comment by Howard Appell on December 7, 2008 at 8:37am
I agree with all of the above and am glad to hear the encouraging predictiction. I have stated in the past that Florida is the first state to see the effects of a bad economy and the first to see the effects of a good economy. I'll keep you posted from down here. I am seeing some light cracking through recently so keep up the positive thoughts.

Non-Operator
Comment by Rod Guinn on December 5, 2008 at 8:25am
Thanks, Susan -- much of what's going on now falls into the category of "That which doesn't kill me makes me stronger". While I fear there will be a few more brand "deaths" before we're done, many of the injuries were self-inflicted long ago (like the leverage which Steak & Ale/Bennigan's parent had carried for years) and were exacerbated -- but not caused -- by the current cycle. When all around are losing their sense of balance, a dose of reason is to be appreciated.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Customer traffic levels behind RPI decline

Softer customer traffic resulted in the Restaurant Performance Index registering a moderate decline in June.  -More

Subway tops social media index, Chipotle bumped from Top 10

Digital CoCo's Restaurant Social Media Index determined the top digital influencers for the second quarter, with Subway retai -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Main Event Entertainment to Open First Center in the Rio Grande Valley

Main Event Entertainment, the fastest-growing family entertainment center in America, is celebrating its new center opening in Pharr, Texas, a suburb near McAllen in the Rio Grande Valley. Doors will open to the public at 9 a.m. on August 6.

Darden Announces Leadership Succession Plan

Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) announced that Clarence Otis is stepping down as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. Darden's Board of Directors has appointed the Company's current Independent Lead Director, Charles A. Ledsinger, Jr., as Independent Non-Executive Chairman of the Board, effective immediately. The Company also announced that it has amended its corporate governance policies to provide for the separation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer roles.

National Restaurant Association Statement on NLRB Joint Employer Decision

Today the National Restaurant Association issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision asserting McDonald’s Corporation is a joint employer of its franchisees:

National Restaurant Association Issues Support for Clearer ACA Definition of Seasonal Employment

The bipartisan legislation will align the definitions of seasonal employment in the Affordable Care Act and streamline the applicable large employer determination process.

Rising India, Inc. Announces Acquisition Strategy Toward a Sizable Slice of the QSR Pizza Pie

Rising India, Inc. (OTC: RSII), announces today it will immediately begin work toward the acquisition of up to 5 profitable stores in the popular Quick Serve Pizza Restaurant segment. Current targets are currently earning about $450,000 in revenues per year, per store. Acquisition of targets would provide immediate cash flow identified from profitable longstanding, absentee owner operations with proven model success.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service