My college-age son and I were watching the local news and heard that the local Pizza Inn, A&W, and Long John Silver's all had closed recently. He commented that it was no wonder, as he had not visited any of those places in all the years he's been independently mobile---they simply did not interest him. I quote: "If people want to have a successful restaurant in Greenville or anywhere else, why don't they simply appeal to the desired demographic?"
There are HUNDREDS of local folks---and thousands beyond our city limits---who crave a nice location for a meal, someplace they don't have to be ashamed to take a date, someplace that is as much a destination as a diner. How hard would it have been to open a McAllister's deli rather than a silly A&W/LJSilver combo. Totally wrong demographic!
If you want your restaurant to survive, then appeal to the group that has the money to spend. We don't want another hot wings trailer or tamale shack. We want a location, a place to spend a pleasant evening with friends.
We don't want another national pizza franchise---we want Lost Dog Pizza! We don't want another Taco Bell---we want Newk's Express or Sweet Pepper's Deli. Pay attention!!!! Heather, Betty Lynn, Ed: get the word out, please. We will THROW money out of the car window as we drive up! Just give us some better options.
The author makes some very good points. We would all like to see some up-scale restaurants in Greenville, but let me ask you this: Would you open a restaurant in Greenville?
The fact is that these franchises cost between $250K to $750K to open, over and above the cost of land and construction. Then you have the problem of labor. There is no labor pool from which to draw in Greenville... only the welfare pool who are perfectly content to milk the system rather than work, but they will take a job for a while, just to become eligible for unemployment. They know the system!
Think about the last time you went through a fast food drive-thru and could barely understand the person speaking. Did they get your order right? Probably not... do they care? NO! They have no work ethic and know they always have welfare to fall back upon if they are fired.
The difference between Greenville and Cleveland is that Cleveland has a large pool of educated college students from which to draw. They are trained in their job as wait-staff and appreciate the chance to make even a meager income on their way to enhancing their lives and education.
Anyone who has been in the restaurant business in Greenville will tell you that the biggest obstacle to making a profit is the employees. Take a day off and your restaurant becomes a free food pantry. What they don't give away to "friends", goes out the back door to their homes. Employee theft is considered just another entitlement of the low paid... another perk of "club membership".
No business can make a profit when you are being robbed on a daily basis... by your own employees! Greenville will never have any of these up-scale eateries because of the ignorant and unethical work-force we have produced. As long as it pays more not to work, than work, we are doomed!