Lets talk about the 10,000lb elephant in the room. When money gets tight what is the first thing to go?
Is eating a luxury or not? Of course not, it is something we have to all do every day. But, spending money on ingredients is something that people will immediately cut back on when money gets tight. “What is the difference between Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano anyway, no one can tell right?” Well, can you tell? (There is a question. Who can really tell, but that is another blog. ) I can not tell you how much we appreciate the people that are continuing to come to our restaurant and say that they are only spending money on going out at restaurants like this one, because it truly makes a difference. Makes a difference? To whom? To the farmers, to the local economy, to the local neighborhood, to everyone in the chain. I know that sound like a cliche now, everyone is talking about local, heck, I even heard of a Tree company useing the term “Locally owned” as a selling point. Of course they are local, no one comes from California to prune trees just before winter do they? (I know, it is not their fault, they were told to use it by some marketing firm) But, back to the question. NOW WHAT? What is everyone doing with their money? Are you eating out? Are you cooking for yourself? What?
We are just starting to wind down on a crazy season of summer here in Minnesota and Wisconsin. This year the farms we have dealt with have had some roller coaster years. When Pam at South East MN food network is asking for rain, Chad in Tomah, Wisconsin is wondering if it will ever dry out? When Maurice with Six rivers co-op in and around Barron, Wisconsin is telling me how hard he works, (he does, really) and how they are in need of rain and sun, Joe, just north of them on the Hay river, is trying to get the field dry so they can get in and plant. This is just all right here folks. So, with all that going on. What do they do?
I know, so many questions, what is the point of this post? The point is NOW WHAT? We pay attention to things that have value, things that cost something, right? We spend money on things that are of high value and quality in our day to day life. We will spend some money on a piece of furniture believing will last, we will spend extra on a phone, cause it will save us time? Right? But when it comes to food, we look for 1/2 price deals and happy hours, and value meals.
What are you going to do? What are your thoughts? I know it is something large to ponder. But, it is very important. What do you want? Do you choose your restaurant based on philosophy or your bank account?