You read about it all the time up here. “After X years of faithful business we regret to inform you that we are closing.” I am fully aware that the margin to operate a restaurant is razor thin. You have the pressure to have a consistent menu, a decent wine list, servers that won’t sabotage you, and bartenders who won’t rob you. Then you have to worry about the health department scores and if you are a fancy restaurant those pesky Michelin Star ratings can make one a tad crazy. But now you have to worry about rent that can go in upwards of 60K a month depending on your location. Yes I said 60K, that is rent for one of the mega chain restaurants in Times Square.
The other day I read where Philippe Lanjaunie closed the downtown Les Halles restaurant where Anthony Bourdain got his fame. He closed the one on Park Avenue about a year and a half claiming soaring rent. I looked up some stats and the cost of running a restaurant in New York as compared to in LA and it was shocking;
- Rent in New York costs roughly $120 a square foot as compared to $52 a square foot in LA.
- Produce and Meat is more expensive here in Manhattan as owners of restaurants in both LA and NYC say that it is 44 percent less to operate in California.
- Hiring staff is a bear here in NYC, the average salary for a cook in NYC is about $30K where in LA it is about $25K. With minimum wage going up you can expect margins to go even tighter.
I know that GrainBin Girl died a little the day that this sucker shut their doors.
You would be surprised how many of these you see up here.
Bottom Line – Go out and eat Local. Tip your server and send back a $20 for the dishwasher too!