More than 400 restaurants in San Francisco shut their doors in 2019, raising concern for many in the city known for its top-notch cuisine.
Jardiniere, one of the most celebrated restaurants in the area is part of the list compiled by Yelp. After decades, it closed in April.
“The trend is more restaurants are closing than are opening and that’s historic,” said Chris Tavelli from Pause and Yield Wine Bars. “I’ve never seen that in my ten years in the restaurant business.”
The founder of Slow Food San Francisco, Lorenzo Scarpone, has worked with many restaurateurs in his 33 years as a wine and food distributor in the city and said the numbers are sad.
“So many restaurateurs go through rough time. They all complain about the cost of food and the rent,” said Scarpone.
Restauranteurs said many factors are to blame, like the high cost of operating in San Francisco, high crime rates, dirty streets and long wait times for permits.
Plus, new challenges in this digital age like the ease of being able to order food online.
“All these tech companies with free food and wine available to their employees day and night,” said Tavelli.
Restauranteurs like Tavelli are in the red and looking for new ways to stay afloat by offering special events and introducing their own wine clubs.
“I worry about small businesses in general in San Francisco,” said Oakland resident John Pearson.