I am still a member of the Whatcom County Farmer's Yahoo Group. Call it inspirational, call it aspirational, call it an unwillingness to let the dream die.
This showed up today and while it's only one small city on the coast, it's a thriving city on the coast. This stuck out to me:
- The costs involved in running a restaurant are high. For typical industry standards, labor and goods make up 50 percent to 70 percent of a restaurant’s expenses. A locally owned restaurant that is sourcing from local farms and cooking from scratch would be on the high end of this. When you add in employee benefits, paying rent and utilities and operational costs, restaurants will have about 5 percent left over for profit. As long as the cooler doesn’t break, which it often does!
This means for a $12 plate of food, about .60 cents is left for profit at a locally owned restaurant that buys local ingredients.
With expenses up and revenue down, it’s a challenging climate for any independently owned food business. And, as of mid-June, 40 percent of food- and farming-business owners surveyed hadn’t paid themselves yet this year.
Good thing that economy is booming, amirite?