There has been a lot of attention given to the recent closings of restaurants in the Richmond area. There have been a lot lately, no doubt — here is a list of closings this year from Richmond.com that they are keeping up-to-date as things change. Some of these have been big surprises to the community at large, but it is important to keep in mind a few things.
Not all businesses close (or are for sale) because of poor sales. There are a variety of reasons:
- personal issues (divorce, wanting to spend more time with children, need to take care of an elderly parent, the owner has an illness)
- the business strategy has changed (the owners no longer want to be in a particular area of town, the owners only want to operate where they own the building)
- the owners are absentee and have other full-time jobs that are suffering because of the demands of owning a restaurant
- the business is on track to make a profit but the owners have run out of operating capital
- the owner is burned out, having spent the last XX number of years in the same location
- the owners realize that the best time to sell is when business is booming — cash out while things are good and maximize the sales price
- poor money management — sales might be great, but if you don’t manage your money well then you won’t stay open for long
- the landlord isn’t willing to renew the lease — maybe they have a better offer from another prospective tenant
- the owner isn’t changing, but they are changing the concept
There is also the counterbalancing effect of new restaurants opening up. Karri Peifer, Editor and Food Writer at Richmond.com, has been keeping track:
— Karri Peifer (@KarriPeifer) October 12, 2012
Almost one year ago, we posted a story about the transitioning of ownership of one Richmond restaurant legacy, Mulligan’s Sports Grille. The past month (Tuesday, October 9, 2012, to be exact) has unfortunately brought us the end to this story — covered here by CBS6 and here by Richmond.com. The restaurant’s official statement from their website is posted here (click the photo to enlarge) –>
Another restaurant that has gotten a lot of press coverage for its closing is Cafe Diem, at the corner of Patterson Ave and N Sheppard St in the Museum District — and right beside our office at 604 N Sheppard St. Since our company is involved in the ownership and management of their building, and most of the commercial property in the area, the media turned to us for some insight.
NBC12 coverage of Cafe Diem closing (with video and a guest appearance from yours truly)
I think the press has done an excellent job with the coverage on this closing. It is often a touchy subject, not only for the restaurant owner(s) but the landlord, the restaurant employees, the loyal patrons, the restaurant vendors, and even the surrounding businesses.
In short, there are lots of reasons why restaurants close. Sure, times are tough all around and lots of people are cutting back on spending, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. If anything, if you enjoy a particular restaurant, be sure to visit it plenty and enjoy it while it’s here. It is fun to always look for the next big thing, but don’t forget about the old favorites either. — By the way, there are LOTS of new restaurants coming soon. Keep an eye out here for announcements!