Thursday, March 22, 2007

The day may soon come when you show up at just about any San Francisco restaurant to find the doors closed and the lights off.
Restaurant owners say they're considering a citywide protest in which all eateries would close for a day. The restaurateurs say San Francisco's newly increased minimum wage is among the factors putting some of them out of business.
"What margin?" Chef Dan Scherotter said when KRON 4's Cindy Chen asked him about his restaurant's profit margin. "There is no margin. That's why restaurants close so often."
Scherotter says a quarter of the money he takes in goes for food, 40% pays for personnel, and most of the rest goes for overhead and upkeep.
"The public has the ability to vote on something like health care or sick pay and they're good social programs," Golden Gate Restaurant Association spokesman Kevin Westlye told KRON 4's Cindy Chen. "The question is, do they consider at that moment at the ballot box the ramifications?"
Westlye's group runs about 800 San Francisco restaurants. Now they're trying to figure out when to close the eateries for a night.
"Do we do it when we would get the most impact that is, when there's a very large convention in town?" Westlye wonders. "Or do we respect their hard work because this is really not aimed at them? This is really a message for the public that lives here."
The stoppage is likely to be called with no notice, so even if you're planning a night on the town, you had better make sure there's something to eat in the refrigerator as well.