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Thread: Thanks to Hoarders

  1. #31
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    Jon, I saw an article that actually validates what you mention about restaurants...many of the food distributors that normally focus on the restaurant trade are shifting goods toward the consumer market to both maintain themselves and adjust to market needs. While takeout services are flourishing, the volume is very much below normal restaurant supply run-rate.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    While takeout services are flourishing, the volume is very much below normal restaurant supply run-rate.
    This is true in my area. A local boutique restaurant I know well normally does 80-120 plates on a good night. The day restaurants were closed, they turned to social media with an aggressive take out campaign. First night they did 6 take out orders. Second night they did 6 take out orders. Third night they laid off all staff and shut the doors.

    Their theory was that in a crisis, people are not thinking so much about gourmet, high quality food like they would if they were going out. Many are in a mentality where they are looking for food that will simply get the job done, i.e. take out pizza, fast food, things like that. This may not be the case everywhere, but it is the story this one restaurant reports. I think we'll go through phases. As stay-at-home becomes more familiar as each week goes by, habits may change. And this will surely vary area by area. But you have to wonder if smaller restaurants that aren't cutting it can hang on that long.

  3. #33
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    I just went to the Ag store and they had TP on the shelves. Needed to get some stuff to carry over till I can get back out and work.

  4. #34
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    Edwin, there are a lot of the smaller, family run restaurants in this area that are doing decent business for take-out. That's less true for the larger places that were not already supporting a takeout business prior to the current event. There's even an evolving published list constantly circulating on social media that includes participating restaurants with links to their menus offerings and terms. In this area, lots of folks are still craving these meals. Yes, some are pizza type places, but the local Peruvian/Mexican/Latin, Indian, "nice" Italian and boutique places so far are doing more than enough business to stay in business. Yes, they only have minimal staff working, but they are open and generating revenue.

    I generally cook 5 nights a week and Professor Dr. SWMBO cooks on Sunday night. Historically, we eat out on Fridays before food shopping, although clearly that's not happening now. We are planning on supporting some of these local businesses for take-out meals, both to "catch a break" and because they deserve to be supported. One of those places will be the restaurant where our younger daughter works...she's still employed for her back-of-house accounting work, even though her front-of-house hours are obviously lost because they went take-out only. They are also facilitating her internship credits this semester for Penn State, so I appreciate them greatly! There are a lot of folks in the area here who are similarly inclined to support these families/businesses that are keeping things going.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 03-23-2020 at 9:44 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #35
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    At least one local restaurant chain (steaks mostly) is selling raw meat to customers to reduce their inventory. Its a gamble here in tornado country, to fill up your freezer when storms and power outages are likely.

  6. #36
    Jim,
    From the sounds of it, you live in a great, old style community. In urban large cities like where I live, one of the biggest issues restaurants are reporting is that even when they get take-out business, people rarely if ever order alcohol. Around here many of these restaurants make their money at the bar, not the dining room. Even a $5 beer is marked up 150% or more. Wine, usually more mark-up. Many jurisdictions have suspended the rules that prohibit sale of alcohol with take-out orders, but the local restaurants here are finding people are not accustomed to ordering drinks with their take out, especially those that have stocked up on beer and alcohol at home. The other report I'm getting locally is that some people are reluctant to order take out not because they are unwilling to support their local family run businesses, but because they are anxious about their own financial future and pulling in their spending horns. Call me a skeptic, but I do not believe a take out only model for most restaurants could do more than slow the death of the business if the crisis goes on for a prolonged period of time.

    For anyone ordering take-out as part of their support for local business, consider ordering drinks (alcohol if you imbibe).

    Last night I heard an idea from the President of the Michigan Federal Reserve that one stimulus strategy could be forgivable loans. This means a federal loan to small businesses with the provision that so long as you keep your business open and your entire payroll intact for a certain set duration of time, the loan will be forgiven and not need to be repaid. The loan would be enough to support the average payroll and operating costs prior to the pandemic, and no more. They can police it by the wage reports and tax filings that all employers file. I'd love to hear what others think of this idea.
    Edwin

  7. #37
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    A lot of the restaurants around here are BYOB...it's too expensive to get one of the limited number of authorizations to serve alcohol from the state as well as the wait for one to become available by closure of another establishment. So their margins are not suffering through loss of alcohol sales and those that do have licenses still have to follow the same rules as previous around take-out alcohol sales which pretty much limit things to beer in bottles/cans in most cases. In that, they have to remain competitive with pickup at a supermarket..."bar margins" do not apply to take out.

    Forgivable loans and other moneys to businesses that are tied to supporting payroll and workers could be a valuable resource to help keep things afloat for the weeks or months necessary to combat this health crisis. The key has to be that it's tied to actually helping the worker and that's what the major part of the debate currently is relative to stimulus. While our discussion of this here absolutely cannot go into the political...that's our hard rule at SMC...what we can say is that all of the parties working on this have got to come together in a way that the stimulus relief is for the people and that the individuals, organizations and businesses who are charged with getting it to the people are held accountable for their actions in support of that. Hopefully, that will be accomplished "real soon now"...
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 03-23-2020 at 11:45 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    Forgivable loans and other moneys to businesses that are tied to supporting payroll and workers could be a valuable resource to help keep things afloat for the weeks or months necessary to combat this health crisis. The key has to be that it's tied to actually helping the worker and that's what the major part of the debate currently is relative to stimulus. While our discussion of this here absolutely cannot go into the political...that's our hard rule at SMC...what we can say is that all of the parties working on this have got to come together in a way that the stimulus relief is for the people and that the individuals, organizations and businesses who are charged with getting it to the people are held accountable for their actions in support of that. Hopefully, that will be accomplished "real soon now"...
    Uh-oh, I think I'd better clarify so I'm not inadvertently spreading mis-information. The Michigan Federal Reserve President I'm referencing, Neel Kashkari, is not an elected official, legislator or someone speaking on behalf of any political party. It was more of an economics discussion, so I *think* we're SMC legal.

    What he was saying was the forgivable loan could be tied to the small business payroll reports pre-crisis and post-crisis. If the business kept it's FTE's and PTE's intact for a prescribed period of time, the loan would be forgiven. This would be absolutely directly help the worker by securing their job. If the small business took the money and let staff go, the loan would then have to be repaid. And the loan size could be limited to the amount necessary to cover the payroll and operating costs reported in prior quarters, hence no blue sky. And I think most small businesses are not looking for blue sky, they're just trying to keep their businesses intact.
    I think this is more of a novel idea coming from an economist, and I do not know it to be on the discussion table in any of the stimulus discussions in the legislature.

    However, the more I think about it the more I like the basic idea. For example, the last thing you would want is an employee who thought they could not be fired and hence stopped performing or showing up timely. So if the forgiveness is tied to FTE, not particular individuals, the employer has the right to fire or react to a resignation, etc. by hiring a replacement so their FTE count remains intact.
    He also made a point that this is a crisis, and it may be that there will be people who will figure out how to game the system no matter what is done, but the focus should be on the people that will be helped so if that means erring to the side of generous, it might be better to do so if it limits the damage at large. It's an interview worth checking out from 60 Minutes last evening.
    Again, love to hear what others think, or if anyone else has creative ideas on how small businesses could be helped.
    Edwin

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Henderson View Post
    I went to the store today and there were more things on the shelves.
    Same here. (I hit "Geezer Hours" at Smart&Final.) There were a couple of things on the list that I couldn't find, but one of the worker bees I know said to try back tomorrow: apparently Monday night is one of their main delivery slots. I'm starting to wonder if Monday and Wednesday deliveries are the norm at Vons/Pavilions too, maybe that's why the senior hours are Tuesday/Thursday.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
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  10. #40
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    I read where Cosco won't let you return TP hand sanitizer Rice and other hoarded stuff

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin Santos View Post
    What he was saying was the forgivable loan could be tied to the small business payroll reports pre-crisis and post-crisis. If the business kept it's FTE's and PTE's intact for a prescribed period of time, the loan would be forgiven. This would be absolutely directly help the worker by securing their job. If the small business took the money and let staff go, the loan would then have to be repaid. And the loan size could be limited to the amount necessary to cover the payroll and operating costs reported in prior quarters, hence no blue sky. And I think most small businesses are not looking for blue sky, they're just trying to keep their businesses intact.
    This is exactly how it can address the concerns of both the workers and the system putting up the money. Accountability so that the funds are used as intended.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerome Stanek View Post
    I read where Cosco won't let you return TP hand sanitizer Rice and other hoarded stuff
    Makes sense. My supermarket just went ahead and instituted a blanket "no return" policy for the duration. (There will be exchanges for defective items.)
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    4,152
    I was at Walmart for groceries today and they actually had TP, paper towels, and tissues in stock! First time in a while. I didn't need any (or buy any), but I looked at the aisle as I walked by.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Elfert View Post
    I was at Walmart for groceries today and they actually had TP, paper towels, and tissues in stock! First time in a while. I didn't need any (or buy any), but I looked at the aisle as I walked by.
    Got a 12-pak of Angel Soft at Walmart last Tuesday. They have virtually everything on the shelves needed 'to survive', bread, dairy, veggies, meats, cheese... What I still can't find anywhere is Lysol, alcohol, peroxide, most anything that sanitizes..
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  15. #45
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    Looking for Tylenol or equivalent today, none to be found.
    NOW you tell me...

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