The announcement was exciting though I had thought parts of the Bart system already had the services. The stations seem to have WiFi on location and cell works everywhere. Personally I tried last week and no signal was present in the tunnel. Today is January also and the new $70 pass is in effect to ride the Muni and Bart. The pass is very useful and the price increases at its own discretion knowing no alternative exists. I am not surprised that 25% of Muni-riders are fare-evaders. If a person does not use a pass, a basic Muni trip will cost $4. I don’t think anyone can go back and forth anywhere during a normal day of business on a 90-minute ticket. The system basically does not work. It worked great when it was cheaper. People paid their fares and used the service. Economy has gone bad and the costs of operations are probably the same but the salaries of government employees must be adjusted every year. I think that should be adjusted as some other states do. I read Colorado lowered its minimum wage this year. San Francisco takes pride in abuse of its citizen. The city has always been mismanaged and the attitude has been that is the way SF is as a big city.
January is the month of new abuses. I personally am curious of food prices. Most restaurants and food eateries will increase their menu prices in January. Last year, that was outrageous. Economy had crashed in November and in January (two months later) some prices went up as much as 20%. I am not surprised so many places closed this year. If you read the Chronicle and the Examiner, you will see the filtered view of reality. They brag how many places opened last year. Many places adjusted to the changes by changing names and concepts or moving locally. The truly new places will be experiments at work. They may look good on paper but how long will they last?
Someone should do a thorough study of all closures in San Francisco and provide some useful information for other restaurateurs to learn from. The next few months will bring many closures also regardless of what the bias local newspapers prefer to SEE. I wonder if the raising of menu prices has anything to do with the change in shopping habits of the public meaning not spending money. I have noticed many locations that always benefited from being overcrowded being empty often. A very interesting byproduct of this situation has been the appearance of Happy Hours everywhere. I have even seen Taco Houses having cut-throat happy hour prices. Why? The original prices were great in 2008 and non-stop traffic proved it. The food quality has not changed but prices have gone up so much (20% in one day in last January?) that a happy hour deal of reducing prices drastically will only make the same food appear OK. I hope that works for them because the public are no longer listening to the media.
The stimuli package has definitely failed and all the band-aid explanations given are failing to make things look promising. Last year brought so many explanations and hopeful guesses all of which were wiped out. Economy got extremely worse while officially the panic button was never pushed. It is as if the media was communicating a subliminal message within its programs to stay calm, economy is getting better, everything is under control and so on. That does not work any more. January is here and the slow season for the restaurants. I personally think the WORST thing that can happen is the menu prices going up again this year. Keeping whatever business is available should be top priority. The problems of a restaurant whether real or imaginary (as part of the economic panic overall) should not necessarily be passed down to the customers. The SF public got screwed last year not only by the economy but also by the restaurant industry, and they will not play along as they did last year. The establishments should be nicer. They should keep costs under control, provide the best service and quality possible and do their best to keep the available customers. My advice is do not raise menu prices at all this year. The public have already decided to pull back and want an excuse. Let’s not give it to them or whatever closure this Winter will double and summer will be jeopardized also. I think everyone should be good and welcoming until the weather turns in a few months. And who knows about the economy? What about the WiFi and cell service in the tunnel and this article? Who cares. There are much more important things to talk about.