This year, a lot of food businesses closed with little public warning. Most gave us 2-4 weeks’ notice, but all left us in a bit of shock. I thought you were doing great! You were always full! (Especially Seattle Cookie Counter. I’m going to miss your sundaes.)
Clearly, places aren’t all doing okay. Even popular places aren’t always doing okay – bills happen, life happens. Being a food business in general is tough, and the newest places have it seriously hard.
The neat thing here is that there are things we can do. We’re not alone, and this isn’t happening in a vacuum. Here are some things to try out:
Take your friends. What I’ve found is the best thing I can do is introduce friends to the places I want to check out, or new places for them. (I’m pretty known for group trips to Intrigue.)
$5 Fridays. This is something I try to do when I have time and resources. Once a month, I pick four places, and set $5-$10 aside for each to test them out, one a week. Don’t feel like you have to do four – pick one, or whatever you can afford; spend what you can afford.
Shoutouts. Social media matters. Your voice adds to the discussion, and might convince someone to try a place you loved.
Attend small maker events. While Small Business Saturday already happened, there are a lot of events going around town for the holidays. Check this page out for details. Events like Urban Craft Uprising and Renegade Craft Fair are also great for checking out a lot of makers at once.
Send me tips! I mean, I am but one human, with over nine thousand of you following on Instagram. I can use suggestions, and I’m usually pretty excited to help get the word out. (Really! Suggestions for places that can go on my Instagram feed or blog are great. Just read the blog or look at the map first, because I’ve been to a lot of places.)
Also, to any food businesses reading this: please reach out. Not just to me, but to media in general. I know I’d like to help out if you’re having a rough time, ideally long before the water gets too deep.