constanto t1_j8tc6um wrote

Restaurants in the lane that we think of as middle class family restaurants were always a bit of a mirage and will be a blip on dining history real soon (and that's setting aside the separate issue of the disappearing middle class). They run incredibly thin margins based on paying their entire staff next to nothing and buying the cheapest bulk agricultural products from Sysco and US Foods that they can source in order to keep their prices low enough to entice people to eat there weekly.

Now with the tightening of the labor market leading to workers commanding a higher wage and better starting positions (has anyone tried to hire a busser recently?) and inflation hitting the largest food producers in particular (notice how fancy eggs are now cheaper than the grossest factory farm eggs sometimes, just for example) places like Max and Erma's and Mad Mex literally cannot operate.

The future is going to be counter service places including food halls and destination restaurants. Now, there's still room for destination restaurants at a lower price point than a steakhouse or Noma, your various cultural restaurants and your fancy brunches and your what have you, but places where families sit down just to go and feed and to be served are already dead and just don't know it yet.