Sunday, July 19, 2009

How Much Does it Hurt?

This morning, I was at the Firefly Coffee shop, which is where you'll find me nearly every Sunday from 8:30 to 10:30am.

But it was pretty quiet inside today. And they are not the only ones that have been slow this week.

Most restaurants in Fort Wayne that I have stopped in or talked with have been slow. Why?

Well, we are smack dab in the middle of summer which means vacations and trips out of town. But we are also wrapping up the final weekend of the 10 day long Three Rivers Festival.

I went to 2 events this year, a concert sponsored by one of my radio stations, and the Bed Race, also sponsored by one of my radio stations. At the Bed Race Wednesday, I spoke with the Executive Director of the 3RF and she told me that the food vendors are very happy, they were about a day and a half ahead of last years sales. I grabbed my dinner downtown that night from some of the vendors, from the area known as "Junk Food Alley", and was disappointed in what I ate. I'm not sure what I should have expected, but I was cheap and the food was not worth the price I paid.

I was looking for food that I could not get at a regular restaurant, so I avoided the pizza, hot dogs, and the like. I also avoided the stand set up by Bandidos because they are local and I can go there anytime I want.

But back to my original question.

When we have an event like this in our town, how much does it hurt the local restaurants and business owners because money is spent on out of town vendors at Junk Food Alley, instead of with our neighbors who are here 52 weeks a year?

I'm not suggesting we stop the Festivals, but does anyone have any good ideas on how to stop the hurt?


  1. As the manager of a smaller restaurant, I can attest to it being much slower during the festival time. I know that it may seem selfish to say, but to help out local places, eat there more during the time around festivals. I don't mean like big box food joints, eat at your smaller chain places, or mom and pop joints. A lot of the time, an extra $1000-$2000 makes all the difference.

  2. Randy, I appreciate your comments and ideas. I know that local people work at the "Big Box" places, but if I can support a local alternative, I will. Perhaps there is a way to identify the locally owned franchises vs. corporate owned, it would help too!

    And I need to visit your place for lunch this coming week!

  3. Thanks Scott! Hope to see you soon! I'll be there all week