Casa Bonita: Life imitates Comedy Central
Drawing conclusions about this headline-making Colorado restaurant news
The announcement by “South Park” creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker that they’re buying the iconic Casa Bonita restaurant–sometimes referenced on their show–was some much-needed positive news this summer for an industry that has been especially hard-hit during the pandemic.
A Colorado Restaurant Association survey of 195 operators conducted July 8 through August 9 was decidedly less cheerful.
Among the findings:
- More than 25% of restaurants are considering permanent closure in the face of significant debt, increased overhead and a severe shortage of labor.
- More than 67% of restaurants say they have accrued new, pandemic-related debt and owe an average of more than $180,000.
- Since March 2020, restaurants report increasing wages by an average of 19%; more than 31% of restaurants have increased wages by 21 to 30%.
- More than 23% of restaurants have added new benefits to their compensation packages.
The high-profile Casa Bonita purchase amid such industry challenges brings to mind a quip that’s almost “South Park”-worthy: How do you make $1 million in the restaurant business? Start with $2 million …