The monetary problems most restaurants are facing at the moment amount to many, many thousands of dollars per restaurant. Unless there is an incredibly coordinated effort to choose which restaurants the food-caring public want to save, at this point most gift card purchases you make—that money has already been spent by the restaurant before you buy the gift card. You’re basically just helping them not go totally bankrupt for that little bit longer. By the time any restaurants reopen, if they’re lucky enough to, cashing in all those gift cards will be like dining and dashing.
Also remember the city has an interest in keeping many of our big hitters alive. Garcetti wants Republique around because the Manzkes have national and international recognition. Food truly is synonymous with tourism in this city. The mayor knows keeping chefs here means keeping Los Angeles relevant, especially considering Hollywood now also includes places like Georgia and Vancouver, where there are so many tax incentives to film. You don’t have to be here to be in “Hollywood” anymore, but you do have to be here to eat at Pasjoli.
There will be chefs that have a much easier (not that any of this will easy) time securing financial aid and eager applicants than others.
David Chang just said he thinks 90% of restaurants will go out of business. Probably (not in a callous way) out of respect for Sturgeons Law and Daniel Dennett. This is definitely a wheat from the chaff moment for many industries.
I work in high fashion so I’m not saying this lightly. Last thing we want is a recession. You’re telling me less people have money to splurge? That’s terrifying.
Also there is a large, talented and currently out of work population of cooks, servers, bartenders, somms, busboys and dishwashers (do not ignore the necessity of the latter two!). Hell, even baristas. We don’t want them to leave LA either because then no one can execute the wishes of Chef and there’s no restaurant either way.
Anyway this social distancing has given me a lot of time to think about the restaurant industry while mindlessly binging television.