Lancaster, TGI, United States discussed on Marketplace All-in-One
TGI Fridays tell us you're going less than you used to casual dining chains are now the worst performing segment of the entire restaurant industry and the number of people eating them has fallen every single month for the past two years. That's according to data from Miller pulse. So what's happening using Lancaster, Pennsylvania as a lens for the story writer, Elizabeth done, investigated the decline of the suburban sit down chain and what it says about the middle class for the website eater. So I grew up going to TGI Fridays and high school. And I remember at the time, it being the kind of place that basically everybody I knew went to and those places TGI Friday's, Applebee's. What we call casual dining restaurants have started to close. They've started to go bankrupt. Traffic has been down across the country that I just wanted to figure out why there is a moment in your. Story in which you see what could be Molyneaux want things catered to them and TIs no, this and that. And yet the data may be told to different story. The decline of these restaurants seem to coincide with polarizing incomes in the United States. So the higher wage earners in America earning more and more and the middle class getting smaller and a lot of America feeling more and more squeezed. So if people are moving down the socioeconomic ladder and some people are moving up it, I guess, what this hollowing out just as taken away the customer base. Sure. So the most visible way in which TGI Fridays in places like at her challenged is maybe these independent bistros that people are going to when they can afford a more expensive meal. But what's not necessarily as visible is the people who aren't doing as well and who aren't going to TGI Fridays because fourteen dollars. Meal is is really kind of a lot. Yeah. And when you went to Lancaster, what did you observe? So first of all, I was looking for someplace that reflected small town, what you might call average America and Lancaster fit. A lot of those criteria. I saw that TGI Fridays is located in a large mall. Fridays was not very busy. There are few couples in their each time that I went. You know, couple families maybe eating after shopping, but downtown Lancaster was booming. And so having people reentered the city in that way really gives an advantage to smaller independent restaurants in downtown. There's another wrinkle here, the rise of technology, the idea that if you want, you know, dinner and a movie, you can actually do that at home. How do you think that has played into us? Yes. I was really curious to see that traffic at casual dining restaurants turned negative over the long term about a decade ago. And what else happened about a decade ago? Well, in two thousand seven, the iphone was invented and Netflix also launched streaming service, cast your memory back to a time fifteen years ago when if you were looking for options for how to spend your time going to a.