Ok, loud title I admit.
Having read posts regarding corporations taking over or how could certain restaurants go out of business when corporate/chain restaurants seem to be doing fine. I have a few ?'s and observations.
Are you as a supporter of the independent restaurant, doing everything in your power to support it?
If you are the average human being, you're not. The average person tells another 11-15 people of a negative experience, whereas they will tell only another 1-3 people about a positive one. Posting at Chowhound.com is a good thing, but let's face it, it is kind of like preaching to the choir, people on Chowhound.com want to learn about food. Where else can you post/preach to non-chowhound individuals? Common feedback I have received from non-chowhounds when I have referred them to Chowhound.com is that we are full of ourselves (I can see why). I found much better response by introducing my suggestions in a forum more geared to general observations about dining, such as the dining section of various travel web forums.
Most people will try to introduce their friends to one's dining passions. Do you try to take your clients to our Chowhound favorites? Most clients I treated always wanted to go to the "name" places (even in the food industry) that they had read about or where their friends have gone, despite my strongly recommending another choice.
Having sold food to many different sized restaurants, I can tell you it is a very tough business. Dealing w/the customers stinks, Lots of cash = good potential for employee theft, Long hours, Not great return on investment, Suppliers frequently out of the goods you need or not stocking your needs, on and on. So even if the restaurant produces great food, there is a very small chance it will survive, that is why we need to help. Take some menus, give them to your co-workers, friends, and better yet offer to treat your co-workers to your favorite place. Of course write of your experiences at Chowhound.com
Are chains/corporations all bad? One would think so from reading Chowhound. I sure don't agree w/corporations or their policies many times, but I know a few things, I fly frequently on a plane produced by large corporations, the plane is owned by a large corporation, and in both instances I have always been happy and doubt that a small company could do it better. I drive a car that I can afford due to large corporations. I know that when I fly into a city late at night, I can get up early in the morning and have my McDonald's breakfast sandwich in three minutes by going through the drive through and then onto my appointments. I was also just in Hawaii and ate many times at L&L Drive Inns, see link below, which has over 50 locations, yet produces GREAT plate lunches. I'm very confident that you use corporate produced services/products that you are very pleased with, in your lives every day.