Common Table also raises the question of whether it is unfair for a for-profit business to have to compete against a non-profit business.
In this case, I can't really answer for the other fine-dining restaurants.
O.K. Yes, I can. I'm betting it makes no real difference in this particular case. It's not like there isn't tons of competition already; and I'm betting that the majority of the restaurants downtown are probably in support of the idea.
But I do know that -- competing against a non-profit for the same dollars when there isn't the same need to pay off employees, suppliers, etc. etc. can be difficult.
I guess, in the long run, I don't mind if it truly is a non-profit charity business where the bulk of the revenue streams toward the intended goals. Charity is needed in this world.
What has always bothered me are the for-profit businesses that cloak themselves as for-the-public type businesses. The kind that says, "Hey, this is all for YOU! We don't care if we make money! We're providing this service and this space for YOU! This is for the COMMUNITY!"
Meanwhile, they are indeed a for-profit business.
So -- I guess it's a pretty good marketing ploy, but I suspect in the majority of cases that is all it is.
If not, they don't stick around long. Because believe you me, a business that is not run like a business does not survive.
Meanwhile, it can be hard to compete with a "holier than thou" type business.
I ran into this problem back at the peak of the sports card business. A store would open up, professing to be "for the kids." "We aren't trying to make money off you," they'd announce, "We just want there to be a place for kids to have fun!"
The implication, of course, is that us "for profit" businesses are making money off the kids and how dare we?
Ummmm. To stay in business?
How is it that the public is totally supportive of the idea of small businesses making a profit -- IN THEORY -- and yet, so often opposed to it in reality?
It's interesting psychology.
Underlying it all, I believe, is the feeling that businesses that earn money are somehow taking advantage of us. Scratch underneath any popular hobby, and there is the feeling that a hobby should be pure -- and how dare you make money! It should be fun! For us! For the kids!
How dare you?
Capitalism is a great idea, until it gets in the way of what you want.
4 days ago