Restaurants and breweries have always played an essential role in thriving society. The growth of restaurants through history correlates with the growth of cities. From the vendor cart in the streets of Ancient Rome to the tavern of the Middle Ages to the restaurant as we now know it (which began carving its place in history following the French Revolution), public eateries have been around in one form or another. Today, restaurants go beyond their humble origins of serving food. They provide a place to socialize, a way to earn a living, and help the economy grow.
Special occasions and major life events are often celebrated in restaurants, bars and breweries, including birthdays, wedding rehearsals, graduations, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, job promotions, retirements – the list could go on. Even if friends are just spending quality time together or a couple is headed out for a date, they frequently make a restaurant their destination.
For centuries, gathering at the table for a meal was at the core of family, relationships, and religion. That’s no different today. In fact, we may need it even more today. We live in a world where we are constantly on the go and plugged into technology. When we go out, it’s not really for sustenance; “We are seeking connection, edification, and validation when we go out to eat,” says Medium. It’s a way for us to relax and connect with other humans face to face.
While people in the suburbs or rural areas may have an entertaining space to invite friends over for dinner, that’s harder to come by in the city, where nearly 81 percent of Americans now live. While rent is increasing, square footage is decreasing. Apartments can have 400 square feet or less, which leaves no room for a dining area. As such, individuals who reside in big cities with tiny apartments opt for entertaining friends and family at a restaurant.
Living in a big city also means you have limited options of where you can take your dog. Keeping your dog cramped up in your apartment isn’t a good idea, and you will want him to experience life outside the dog park. Luckily, dog-friendly and breweries are becoming increasingly popular. Incorporating a visit to a local restaurant or neighborhood bar while taking your dog for an evening walk allows your dog to work on socialization skills.
America has a formula when it comes to industrial production: create the product on cheap land with inexpensive labor, and then sell the product where the consumer lives. For example, your computer was likely built in pieces in one location, assembled at another location, and then sold close to where you live. This formula has driven many jobs overseas, but it doesn’t really work for restaurants.
While some foods processing occurs up the supply chain, most restaurant production isn’t outsourced. It would be kind of odd to have customers call Japan to make reservations for dinner, prep the food in California, and then serve the meal in Pennsylvania. In the United States, 14.7 million people – which equates to one in 10 people – work in the restaurant industry, and that number is expected to grow to 16.7 million people by 2027.
City governments understand that a visually appealing street with retail shops and restaurants are keys to drawing people to a neighborhood. In light of this, city planners approve new developments under the condition that ground level spaces be utilized for retail and restaurants. In fact, nearly 60 percent of renters look for a restaurant within walking distance when apartment hunting. Restaurants don’t just attract renters to the area; they create communities where people want to work and shop too, both of which help the city and economy grow.
Restaurants and breweries have been a part of a healthy society for centuries, and they don’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon. While people enjoy the good food offered, the communities benefit from the other advantages of restaurants. From offering a place of socialization to growing the economy and creating jobs, restaurants are vital part of their neighborhoods.