Ran across this site and thought it was interesting. The local places get more national media coverage now but have the same problems as restaurants have had for years. Very few independents remain open after five years. This may be a new century but making a profit much less a living has not changed.
They think they invented the business
Sounds like it could have been written 30 years ago. Especially the example they open with. Hmmm...you drop a ton of cash into a poor location, create a trendy idea-of-the-month restaurant within catering to upscale customers that don't frequent the area. You do no research into wages or other costs. Then you're surprised when the business model isn't sustainable.
The article does hit some points I agree with at least somewhat. It does feel like there's a bubble with way too many restaurants (my hometown has 750 for a town of 150k!). But then it's felt that way to me for 12-15 years and they seem to keep on chuggin' along.
I'm pretty liberal/progressive but the increase in wages does concern me. I've long stated that people like, in principle, the idea of paying fast food workers a living wage but balk at the reality of a $10 Happy Meal. In my location servers make $9.50 and still get tips; that makes it pretty hard to staff FOH. Especially since we're 15 miles from the border of a state where the min for servers is 1/3 as much.
I saw that article on their Facebook page a few weeks ago and made the same comment. There is nothing in it unique to "now", and nothing that justifies thinking there is an industry wide bubble. Interesting article, but the "bubble" thing was just rampant sensationalism.