We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I would suspect that there is not one small business restaurant in the U.S. that does not skim. They might bring home low wages and make small profits but they also skim a thousand or two every week. Just saying...
The food is the SMALLEST part of a restaurant meal. Wages, taxes, either rent or a mortgage, utilities; if you walk into a restaurant, sit down, and leave without ordering anything, they're out for at least half of what you would have paid for a meal.
The restaraunt business has a very high margin. And wages are no problem at all. What's happened to our restaurants is the same thing that has happened to our entire country: Nobody believes that they are truly responsible for what they do. If you look at any government office, you'll find thousands of people who say that they aren't responsible for anything. Their "job" (if you can call it that) is only to show up. As a result, there is no longer any such thing as failure. The military can spend trillions of dollars on machines that don't work. The Senators can hand out trillions of dollars to their friends. The pharmaceutical companies can sell trillions of dollars of worthless medicine to innocent people. And there's never any negative outcome. Fraud, sloth, theft, and denial of responsibility are now the official norm.
So let me say: If you own a restaurant, and your food is really great, you will always have plenty of business. People love great food. But restaraunt owners are too lazy to keep an eye on the customers, for their level of satisfaction. For example, Tho Olive Garden has no way of knowing if the customers are happy; there is no single point of responsibility. The waiters can blame the cooks, who can blame the managers, who can blame the busboys, who can blame the bartender. So it's nobody's fault if sales go down. And it's nobody's fault if the trillion dollar F-35 is a piece of junk that can barely fly. (They're not allowed to fly this plane over the ocean anymore. It might make an unscheduled landing.)
So to be clear: A great restaurant makes tons of money. I live near a Ramen Place, and an Indian place, which are both packed, eighteen hours a day. Any company which thrives on excellence, and responsibility for outcomes, will always succeed. Maybe we should ask the Department of Defense to open some restaurants, as a training mission.
I wonder how much these families take home from the pho noodle shops. A decent size meal is $8, and $10 will leave you absolutely stuffed. The Vietnamese resaurants are everywhere and they are always busy. I rotate through about 5 of them and would eat it everyday if I could afford it. And like much Asian food it is difficult to reproduce at home.