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Restaurants in crisis

By johnboy - 16 July 2006 33

The Canberra Times has a story on hard times in the restaurant industry as too many eateries struggle with not enough punters.

They think 1/3 of restaurants are going to have to close to make the industry viable.

What’s Your opinion?


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33 Responses to
Restaurants in crisis
Danman 1:30 pm 17 Jul 06

I actually started because I enjoyed cooking and was quite competent pre trade. I actually stopped cooking because I wanted to enjoy it again. Nothing like commercial quantities to ruin you rlove of cooking.

Thumper 1:27 pm 17 Jul 06

I know an ex chef/ now public servant….

I wonder if it is one of you guys.

Or is there a disproportionate amount of ex chefs/ now public servants on this website?

Hmmmm….

Mr_Shab 1:09 pm 17 Jul 06

Cooks and chefs are a funny old lot, VYB.

Most will move extensively within the industry (i.e – sick of long antisocial hours? Take a paycut and cook in cafes. Not earning enough money – go cook fine dining, etc).

Cooks also tend (on the whole) to be social misfits and borderline personalities. No disrespect intended, and not to imply that these guys and gals are dumb – far from it (well…usually) – but most of the guys I cooked with should not be giving policy advice at Treasury. You’d have a host of bullying/sexual harrassment/OHS claims on your hands before you could blink and an economy doing some very *interesting* things.

‘sides – a lot of people don’t put up with the crap hours and lousy pay (Danman and I are two such examples).

You’re also dealing with a lot of people who are very passionate about what they do (you don’t put up with the crap pay and hours otherwise).

The economic models don’t work so well when you plug in provisos like this…

VYBerlinaV8 12:50 pm 17 Jul 06

It suprises me that people hang around to put with crap money for massive hours and lots of hassles, especially in a public service town like Canberra. Someone has to do the job, I suppose, but if fewer people are around to do it, and demand for the staff increases, so too should the remuneration. That’s probably a simplified view of the world, but whenever someone bitches or moans about “too much work, not enough $$” I generally suggest getting a new job.

You can begin shouting at me………now.

Danman 10:41 am 17 Jul 06

Hope y’all can read the above post – mondayitis typo city

Danman 10:40 am 17 Jul 06

** Rant Warning**

Mr Shab – agreed – When I changed places from Head Chef at small cafe – doing 60 hours a week for a mere 40 000 a year – to 38 hrs a week – starting at 0730 and walking out the door at 1530 and earning 48 000 a year – the differemce is immesurable. Getting paid for public holidays and not working weekends was bliss. Also teh fact that when I was sick I could have a day off. One of the worst things I have ever don ein my life was be forced into turning up to work with conjuncitivitus – it was that or loose my job as the nature of most hosppitality estyblisments is to be understaffed to fatten the pocket of the owner and stress teh crap outta the staff. What is with that anyway – canberra chefs – like hospital staff – get pad dick all for working their ring off.
Most of the time the front of house prices are not reflected in the pay packets of the people who are responsible for the food. I know for a fact that the last place I worked as a chef went down to the order of 750 000 – for not paying rent for 6 months – not paying super – ever ( and I never got it paid after long legal disputes ) and never paying PAYG for any employees. I worked there for about a year and it took me about that much time with the insolvency practitioner to get a fraction of my annual leave entitlements bacl – and that was after the insolvency practitioner took their dusting off the top as well.

Im quite happy to be called a PS bum – as I have earnt it – besides I dont feel lazy – how many PS-ers are at work by 0730 ? Oh and RE Bonfires comment abotu providing ID before ordering food – That cafe that used to be where krispy Kreme now is – they requested that from a friend and me – now I dont look liek a goodie 2 shoes – but I dont look like an outlaw – so whats with that ? Are businnes now not focussed on the customer ?
I was took offence and left stating that I am not a criminal

bonfire 9:48 am 17 Jul 06

that article diturbed me as it seemd to condone the black economy. its every citizens duty to pay appropriate tax.

one weekend earlier this year i was in geelong and went to a cafe with some friends. we were asked if we wanted to pay as we went or setup an account (?). We decidee to pay as we went for cofffees, but when we came to order a meal, the waitress wanted either a credit card or a license for the cafe to hold until we paid. i’d had enough by that stage and we simply left and went somewhere else.

this place was not bloody florentinos quality either.

VYBerlinaV8 9:18 am 17 Jul 06

I think many people (me included) have had enough of high prices and crap srrvice. I almost never go to good restuarants in Canberra any more, I’d much rather spend half as much $$ on something a lot less pretentious.

However, there are a few good ones around. I tend to have my favourites, and stick to those. None of them are really top price, though.

Mr_Shab 9:07 am 17 Jul 06

You could Dan – or like me, every time you get the urge (and a strong urge it can be), you remember that you’re at home with your partner at 7pm on a Friday night sipping a beer instead of in the shit the middle of dinner service.

Danman 9:00 am 17 Jul 06

maybe I should start cheffin again and leave my intel field – obvious that the industry has fallen apart since my departure 4 years ago ;P

Mr_Shab 8:59 am 17 Jul 06

I’m very sorry to see Anise go – I knew one of the apprentices, who loved working there. I also ate there a couple of times – the food and service were both superb.

Water’s Edge was a case of Ms Wright’s obsession with doing what’s hip in Sydney. It was certainly a very “flash” restaurant, but too much and too expensive for the market in homey ol’ Canberra.

Tempestas is bang on the money in saying that every pube with a package has inflicted their own brand of culinary hell on Canberra’s hospitality workers and dining public. I’d be happy to see a few of them close, and let the cold-blooded pro’s handle it.

I’d disagree with your assertion that there is a dearth of quality establishments in Canberra. I can think of at least half a dozen seriously good eateries without very much thought at all. Remember – we’re a small town.

Tempestas 9:24 pm 16 Jul 06

Canberra has very few quality restaurants, and far too many wannabe cafe/restaurant establishments. In short every ex-public servant with a package has tried to make a crust by torturing uni-students working hospitality passing on their bad taste, food choices and approaches to service, pick almost anywhere in Manuka really.

The point is there could be less venues with better quality and I think everyone would be better off.

b2 4:57 pm 16 Jul 06

maybe carlo’s should close

morto1980 4:27 pm 16 Jul 06

“There are far too many restaurants for the population, and people aren’t paying enough for the food that they are getting”

Cry me a river. After recently visiting Tokyo (with it’s reputation of being expensive, blah, blah) I was reminded how bloody expensive it is in Australia (Canberra especially).

What this really means is that the crap/poorly managed restaurants – some which have been mentioned here recently 😉 – will close due to other owners being less greedy, having superior business skill or having a better product.

For a real cut-throat restaurant environment check out the Curry Mile

I’m sure Ms. Wright has nothing to worry about considering her chain of defence cafes in Russell are overpriced as ever (and always busy).

I’ve always thought that Canberra has stacks of restaurants for the population, especially given the prices at a lot of them. Interestingly enough I’ve never heard anyone rave about the places mentioned as closing/selling in the article.

Ari 4:20 pm 16 Jul 06

That’s 1/3 of existing restaurants – there are heaps more opening soon, hence the whinge.

Perhaps the competition will lift the generally appalling service levels found in Canberra.

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