Last night was a quiet one in my pub. Being a Thanksgiving with poor weather this isn’t surprising. That leaves me with some time to mess around on social media while working.
As is common with me, I tweeted about something that happened during the evening in the bar as it was representative of happenings in all restaurants in our current economic climate.
While I often post thoughts and things with the intention of stirring the pot, I really didn’t think much of the tweet I was sending out. I didn’t see it as being provocative or controversial.
I sure didn’t anticipate the vitriolic and hysteric reaction that it was going to draw from the left. The tweet is below:
Again, the tweet really shouldn’t be that controversial. It was a simple statement on business reality. Restaurants and bars have just had an added expense due to the increase in minimum wages in Alberta. All restaurants will have to examine ways to recoup this new expense. We have limited options as business owners as many of our costs are fixed. We can cut staff hours and benefits, we can try to reduce food costs through reductions in portion sizes and we can raise prices. There is simply no choice in this matter.
My place like most has worked with a combination of these options. Every action has a reaction. If you raise prices too high, patrons will stop coming in. If you cut staff too far, service will suffer & patrons will stop coming in. If you cut portions too deeply, patrons will take note of this as well and it can cost you some business. As many of our pub clientele are ranchers and other working folks, we have typically provided large portions for those large appetites. We have however had to make adjustments. The patron who noted the portion reduction was actually quite understanding when I explained why we did so. Your average person doesn’t dwell on these things until they see the expense directly.
My tweet was as innocuous as stating “my rent has increased so I had to make changes to deal with that new expense”. I wasn’t delving into the whole debate on the merits of minimum wage increases and such.
Its not like I said something like “Tommy Douglas supported eugenics!” (though he did).
With the response from the haywire left though, you would think I did.
Within minutes, union activist David Climenhaga jumped out of the gates with this tweet:
He sure can read a lot into a tweet. Where was I bragging? When did I mention or blame the poor? I didn’t offend the customer at all. I simply had discourse to explain our changes in business practices.
Apparently one shouldn’t even speak of such things as that is a poor economic reality.
Thankfully I am wise enough not to take business advice from union activists. That is how we have managed to remain profitable in such a tight margin industry this last few years.
Next I got this gem:
Yes. This fellow is hoping that I go out of business for daring to point out that I had to reduce portion sizes. He would rather see me lay off 14 people than cut portion sizes.
Thankfully, I have learned to ignore business advice from virtue signalers who insist on wearing their bicycle helmets in profile pictures.
Seriously though, what the hell is the matter with these people?
Then there was this fellow:
Dude? “End of days predictions?”
I tweeted about reducing portion sizes.
I really was scratching my head. Why were these people all going so haywire over what was a simple statement on an economic action.
Finally I got the vapid tweet below which caused the light to come on and help me understand where these people were coming from:
Because I am bound by reality, I truly didn’t see it. I understand what business owners make and never considered how the envious left looks at things.
They think that we restaurant owners are making shitloads of profit. We are all swimming in money bins and can easily just cut into our mountains of profit every time the government adds an expense to our operations.
I am surely a greedy asshole! How dare I pass on these expenses to consumers when I sit upon millions!
Restaurant margins are notoriously low. 4% on average according to Stats Canada. That means that a medium to small restaurant usually only pays its owner about $40,000 per year. The hours are long and few places have some sort of salary on top of that. Restaurant ownership is a passion and not a way to get rich.
The Calgary Chamber estimates that government incurred expenses will cost the average restaurant nearly $61,000 this year. On top of that is the usual increase of $17,600 bringing the total new expenses to nearly $80,000!
These new expenses are well over what the average restaurant owner makes. There is no deep pocket to reach into and peel off bills in order to pay these new expenses. There is no money tree in the back where a fresh harvest can be made. Restaurants are forced to deal with these expenses from within and they are doing so.
One has to look at the deranged outlook of the left in order to understand why they despise and demonize business owners who are forced to deal with market realities in the only ways they can. The left is incapable of seeing economic reality. There is little hope in reasoning with them.
Hayek said it best: “If socialists understood economics, they wouldn’t be socialists.”.
Some of the left activists do understand that businesses have to pass expenses on down to the consumer but they sure as hell do not want to hear about it. That exposes how cost of living rises, unemployment grows and all of the benefits of minimum wage increases become short term at best.
I am not sure which is worse. The disingenuous left who want to hide the reality that minimum wage increases do nothing to help the poor, or the fiscally illiterate left who feel that money and resources are being held back by greedy business owners in the industry.
I will never share the outlook of the left on economics but due to the responses to my simple tweet I have gained more insight into their way of thinking.
I guess I should thank them for that if nothing else.