"Cutting down the regulatory reform that's something we hear frequently from a lot of the downtown businesses,” said John Hinnant of Wilmington Downtown Incorporated. “A lot of people aren't reporting on it but that's why some of our restaurants closed. The cost of regulation is often a tough part of business so I think reducing the regulation and easing the bureaucracy and helping to get projects through and out a lot faster is really important."
This seems to be the latest political buzz swords - regulatory reform.
But John takes it down to the restaurant level. Just what regulations apply to restaurants?
Wage and Hour? Yeah but restaurant owners got a break by being allowed to pay LESS than minimum wage if the servers get tips. So THATS not it.
Environmental regs? Well can't think of any here. Fryolator grease is now recycled but that was a cost savings not a regulatory push if I remember correctly. So EPA/DEHNR regs are not it.
OSHA regs? Nah not that either. The Dept of Labor info shows very very few restaurants get inspected - they are not targeted by OSHA either because their accident rate is so low. So OSHA is not it.
HHhhmmmmmmm - what does that mean?
That leaves health dept inspections. Well, I can only speak for myself Mr Hinnant but I WANT those restaurants inspected. I want them scored and I want that info made public. I do NOT want a cook working in a dirty filthy kitchen cooking my food with no oversight - nor do most other folks I assume.
What other regs? Well maybe the city permitting folks. Restaurants get annual fire safety inspections - given the situation in Brazil over the weekend this should be stepped up. Maybe the city building inspectors are harassing restaurant owners?
Of course if the last 2 are the problem then Hinnant is blaming the same folks that contribute to his salary.
Most of us know that's not it.
The way I see it is down town is chock full of restaurants and the competition is fierce - but there are too many "little" places down town that have maybe 10 to 18 tables. These places have 2 choices - serve regular basic food quickly, and turn over their tables 2 or 3 times a night, or serve quality eclectic food at a very steep price to cover costs. The first one isn't happening and the second has failed repeatedly.
But neither is related to "regulatory" issues. It's business - pure and simple. Why are there not chain restaurants down town? Why are there very limited fast food joints down town? Of course the answer is simply - there's not enough business to justify the cost. Why are they all along major roads like College, Market, CB, and Shipyard? Traffic- pure and simple.
The sad news is that unfortunately down town is stuck between a rock and a hard spot. It's devoid of enough people to make it worthwhile for the "big boys" to locate there. The continuous stream of "Mayfaire is the new down town" and "Mayfaire is expanding" articles are showing that new, cohesive development that incorporates residential, business and shopping businesses together works.A down town without a heavy residential presence is failing
It's time to abandon ship John - your constant excuses for down town business failings are an embarrassment to you...
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