The food critic editorializes in favor of supporting local restaurants. That's a pretty safe position and as one who eats in local restaurants, I see merit in it.....But many chains offer the food, service and atmosphere I enjoy.
On holidays when the locals are off , I usually will go to Appleby's and always am pleased with the menu and service. Also if you want to dine after 8 or 9 at night, be prepared to go chain.
I like Pete's because I know the people there and feel at home. I like Fairgrounds because its convenient and has a varied, easy to navigate menu.
Remember though, a chain is still a local business paying taxes (often pretty high assessments) and employing local people, so your guilt shouldn't be too high.
So to answer the question in the headline.....Hard to say. Wage rate hikes will require the kind of automation, efficiency and bulk buying that chains can do. Local restaurants can survive by knowing their market and providing a level of service and attention equal or superior to chains.
Lots of things change. Remember cafeteria restaurants....Don't see that much anymore and they were viewed as a threat.
The difference in local restaurants is they rely on an entrepreneur willing to work hard in a tough industry. Such people only come along occasionally, but when they do, yes the local one can survive.
Watertown Daily Times | Can our local restaurants survive the onslaught of national chains?