I live in a college town.
And I’m not a student. Just a retired guy. None the less I live in a bustling and busy town of post secondary students. As witnessed by others and me have notice about thirty-thousand teens and post teens shuffling about. Moving about on foot, on electric scooters, and motorbikes. All with one thing in common. They are frequently hungry and looking for something to relieve their pangs. I have baked dozens and dozens of cookies and have given them to a local church for their one-day-a-week college feed. Glad to do it.
But here is the true appearance of a hungry college town. In our university municipality there is a strip of well traveled land known as Perkins Avenue. Guess what’s along this thoroughfare. You guessed it, fast food. Every fried food franchise imaginable. From Asian tacos to McDonalds. And every walk-in and drive-thru franchised known to humankind. Taco Bell, Arby’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, IHOP, Jimmy’s Egg, KFC, Chick-Fa-lay, Panera, and about twenty or thirty more. Plus dozens of local owned fast fooders. All mostly on this one stretch of road.
What these fast-food flippers all have in common is they are hurting for hired help. Shorthanded or under staffed. Possibly slowing down their food delivery time or having to cut their open hours. I don’t think it is a shortage of workers but workers not willing to work. I wouldn’t work for minimum wage either.
But here is my assessment of this whole fast food thing. In our smallish burg and maybe in other dwellings of education there are too many fast fooders. We have too many franchisers and not enough workers. And as mentioned, workers not willing to work for low wages. They could however hire foreign nationals but it is most important they speak English. Many don’t. But the big bottom line is we have too many fast food joints none the less. How many burger purveyors do we need here? How many chicken kitchens do we need here? How many sandwich shops and delis do we need here? How many burrito wrappers do we need here? My guess is about half as much. I am almost certain we could get by with fewer fast food franchises on feeders and eaters row. And all of this is to not mention the on campus cafeterias and on-campus franchises and dozens of marauding food trucks. How could this over satuated flood of food possibly make any money? Way too much competition and too small of a profit margin. I guess I don’t know and for certain, I really don’t care. Somehow back in my early college life I learned to live on under cooked and over seasoned cafeteria food. Such as it was. But hey, I live through it all.