Albertsons makes “billions in profits” yet pays employees welfare wages! : August 2016 U.S. Food Crisis

Incomplete list of announced United States food supply shutdowns for the month of August, 2016: Many food suppliers/distributors are consolidating operations and killing jobs due to the collapsing grocery store and restaurant industries, as well as rising costs of food production, spread of disease and extreme weather.

The now Belgium owned beer maker Anheuser-Busch announced it will kill-off 5-thousand5-hundred jobs over the next three years! Many of those jobs are in the United States!  The new owner (AB InBev) of the maker of Budweiser, Corona and other brands is consolidating global sales and logistics operations.

Alabama: In Trussville, after “The Lord blessed us with 16 wonderful years” their god now powerless to stop the “christian family” owned Cafe on Main from shutting down.  In Huntsville, Emma’s Tea Room shutdown after 11 years. The owner says a property developer made her an offer she couldn’t refuse.

Arizona: In Phoenix, The Grind burger joint shutdown.  In Scottsdale, ShinBay sushi joint, French cuisine The Upton and the two years old Vivo Ristorante shutdown.

California:  In Rancho Mirage, after four years Johnny Rockets Original Hamburger shutdown without explanation, 13 jobs lost. Herbivore The Earthly Grill shutdown its Berkely and San Francisco locations. Restaurant administrators have been shutting down Herbivore restaurants since 2015, without explanation, and unnamed employees told local news media they were not allowed to talk about it.  In Los Angeles, after three years Pingtung Eat-In Market shutdown despite reports that the area is in desperate need of a Chinese style restaurant.  Tout Sweet Patisserie shutting down their two years old Palo Alto location so they can “refocus our efforts on wholesale, corporate and e-commerce sales”.  In Clovis, ten years old Thai Fusion Bar & Grill shutdown without explanation.  Morton Salt shutting down their Newark operations, 70 jobs gone by December.  In Sacramento, on Watt Avenue Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour suddenly shutdown blaming crashing sales and skyrocketing rent. JBS USA Food Company shutdown their Sante Fe Springs factory, 362 jobs gone! In Strathmore, Golden Valley Citrus issued a WARN, 145 jobs lost by the end of September! ConAgra will shutdown their Oakland ops by the end of September.  Chili’s shutting down their Foothill’s Ranch restaurant by the end of September, 50 jobs lost.  A pissed off labor analyst went on a rant about grocery coporations reporting huge profits yet paying their employees so little they qualify for California’s social services: “The Albertsons chain earned over $400 billion in profits last year alone while the average employee netted around $300 a week with the concomitant effect that workers not only have to work more than one job but must also rely on taxpayer funding to make ends meet.” 

Colorado: Denver based Chipotle Mexican Grill is in trouble again, yet another employee lawsuit says Chipotle is treating them like slaves.  This time 10-thousand employees say most Chipotle restaurants use a time clock system that automatically clocks them out at 00:30 (12:30 am) even though shutdown ops take longer than that to complete (I’ve worked restaurant closing jobs and they are correct).  The lawsuit says store managers promise to manually adjust their work time, but never do (I’ve experienced that as well, at other restaurants), and that the unwritten policy of making employees work off-the-clock goes back to 2012.   Near La Salle, the Fritzler Corn Maze pumpkin and onion fields were flattened by hail: “Your stomach turns upside down but you’re so helpless… there’s just absolutely nothing you can do. The pumpkins were just getting ready to start.  ….this storm, it did not move it just stayed stationary.”-Glen Fritzler

Connecticut: In Westport, after 42 years Oscar’s Delicatessen shutdown, the owner has cancer.

Florida: News media report that Ruby Tuesday suddenly shutdown their Orange Park restaurant, apparently days before the corporate announcment of nationwide restaurant shutdowns. France based food service company Sodexo continues its destruction of U.S. jobs, this time 79 people in Saint Leo to become jobless by the end of September.  In Tallahassee, 25 years old Old Time Cafe shutdown due to the property being sold out from under them.

Georgia: In Covington, after 68 years Henderson’s Restaurant shutdown by state road construction that will create new turning lanes where the restaurant’s parking lot is: “It’s upsetting because we don’t feel like they have tried to work with us as far helping us with parking…”-Cassandra Henderson

Illinois: Ruby Tuesday suddenly shutdown all 11 restaurants in the state! Local news reports say there was no warning for employees, Ruby Tuesday administrators blame the francisee.  In Rockford, after 40 years Altamore Ristorante shutting down in September.  Another fine example of what I call Ripple Effect Layoffs; after six years farm equipment supplier German-Bliss Equipment suddenly shutdown, blaming mass layoffs by Caterpillar and crashing commodity prices for local crops.  In Decatur, Just Wingin’ It suddenly shutdown after only six months!  The owner blamed high taxes and bad comments on social media.  Sandwich shop Jerry’s shutting down one of three Chicago locations, due to rents that’re being jacked up.  Administrators are looking for a cheaper location: “…selling things on Division Street can be tough. It’s a big space, and the rent isn’t low….”-Mark Bires, owner

Indiana: Kellogg’s announced it will shutdown its Seelyville snack factory by September 2017, at least 150 jobs lost!  Penn Station East Coast Subs shutdown its location next to the Circle Centre Mall.

Iowa:  After 23 years the Brown Bottle restaurant in North Liberty shutdown, the stressed out owners blame their 70 hours work weeks and increasing competition.

Kentucky: In Paris, after 37 years Ken’s Fresh Foods shutting down on 11 September, due to lack of customers.  The owners hope the 56 employees can transfer to other locations.

Maryland: Frederick based Family Meal Restaurants shutting down at least four restaurants in Maryland and Virginia, but at the same time claim they have plans to open new locations.  In Baltimore, after more than five years Hamilton Bakery shutdown because the owner wants to spend more time with his grandchildren.  After four years spice seller McCormick shutdown their only retail store called World of Flavors.  In Bel Air, after 24 years Scottos Cafe shutdown due to the greedy landlord jacking up the rent.  The Winery at Elk Manor shutdown due to the owner pleading guilty to tax fraud, pissing off a lot of wedding planners: “He promised me the world: My wedding would be fine, he had no intention of closing the venue. It’s just so wrong on so many levels what he has done to us.”-Prassinas, bride to be

Massachusetts: After 20 years restaurant LaStoria Trattoria shutdown “due to declining sales”.  After 88 years Rubin’s Kosher Restaurant and Delicatessen shutdown, the owner said he wanted more time with his family. In Chicopee, after 28 years in the same location Quicky’s Restaurant shutdown due to greedy landlords and their jacked up rents.  Hearth ‘n Kettle shutting down their nearly 30 years old Orleans location in September.  Administrators say the greedy landlord went and leased the property to a pharmacy.

Michigan: In Troy, Minissale’s Wine Cellar Cafe shutdown after 38 years due to the owners expanding their wholesale food operations.

Minnesota: In Duluth, The Rustic Olive cooking oils and vinegar shop shutdown after four years because the owners are “pursuing other opportunities”.

Missouri: News media report Ruby Tuesday suddenly shutdown at least three restaurants in Nixa, Springfield and Republic.  In Saint Joseph, the Cash Saver-Apple Market grocery store shutdown due to lack of sales.  The owners claim all employees are being transfered to other Apple Market stores.

Montana: In Bozeman, after 31 years the Baskin Robbins ice cream shop shutdown, so the owner can retire.   The USDA reports that hail damage claims are above the 20 years average.  Not normal for this time of year, hail storms hit farmers just four days before harvest, destroying their crops. State regulators say hail damage insurance claims are at least double from ‘normal’ years.   In Broadwater County a 32 hectare (80 acre) barely field was destroyed, the farmer does not have hail damage insurance: “There’s virtually nothing left here….this was a very good crop.”-Gord Pierce, Bruce Seed Farm manager

New Jersey:  Movie actor owned Hard Rock Cafe issued a shutdown WARN for their Atlantic City location, 105 jobs gone by October due to the crashing casino industry! IL Mulino restaurant eliminating 60 jobs at their Atlantic City location, by mid-October. DiPietro Foods shutting down their 40+ years old Maplewood store in September, apparently due to jacked up rent because the owners swear they’ll re-open when they find a new location.

New York: Elmhurst Dairy shutting down their Jamacia operations, 273 jobs gone by Thanksgiving!  In Manlius, 14 years old Kimberly’s Ice Cream Factory shutdown.  The owner gave-up trying to sell the ice cream shop and had to get a full-time job working for somebody else.   Culinary Concepts-Spice Market issued a shutdown WARN, 221 NYC jobs gone between September and Xmas!  Drink maker Bevolution Group shutting down their Huntington Station ops, 48 jobs lost between November and Xmas.  In Brooklyn NYC, after 83 years of beer Greenpoint’s Palace Cafe shutting down in September, local news sources say no explanation has been given.  In Catskill, after 49 years Bottle Shop Fine Wines & Spirits shutdown and up-for-sale: “There’s just not enough business…”-Gabriella Varga, owner

North Carolina:   Another round of layoffs as beer maker Miller-Coors shuts down a brewery. This round 90 people were let go, by September all 350 employees will be unemployed!  The Miller-Coors brewery is co-owned by the British empire’s SABMiller (in United Kingdom, SABMiller is about to be sold to Belgium’s AB InBev) and the joint British empire-U.S.  Molson-Coors (Molson=Canada, Coors=U.S.).  In Charlotte, Maverick Rock Taco shutdown, unnamed employees said a pizza joint is taking its place.  Also, the Bi-Lo (formerly Piggly Wiggly) grocery store on Meeting Street shutting down in October, news reports say no reason was made public. Two Lowes Foods grocery stores and one Just$ave gorcery store shutting down by mid-September. Administrators with Lowes Foods (which ownes Just$ave) said it was necessary “for future growth.”

Ohio: In Akron, the Kenmore Freeze shutdown after 57 years, the longtime owners want to retire.  Craft beer maker Winking Lizard Tavern shutdown their 18 years old Coventry location because it lacks “outdoor space”.

Oregon:  After reporting big profits, Albertsons-Safeway issued a shutdown WARN for their Clackamas location, 57 jobs lost by Halloween.

Pennsylvania: In Wilkes Barre, What The Fork shutdown their restaurant and food truck operations, no reason given. Michigan based Gordon Food Service shutting down their relatively new Pottsville distribution operations, 120 jobs lost by Thanksgiving! It’s connected to the federal government (FAA) catching Gordon Food Service shipping hazardous materials (sodium hydroxide) without proper packaging and haz-mat notifications. Gordon Food Service must pay a $54-thousand USD fine as a result.  After 28 years Spaghetti Warehouse Restaurant shutdown, the owners are hoping to find a new location.  In Stroudsburg, AC’s Diner suddenly shutdown after only six months! The owner said running a restaurant takes too much time away from being with family, and doesn’t pay well.   Lancaster County health inspections showed at least 24 restaurants with some type of health code violation.  In Columbia, after 26 years Prudhomme’s Lost Cajun Kitchen shutting down in September, so the owners can retire.  Goodnoe Farm Dairy Bar shutdown their Doylestown location: “Unfortunately our lease is up and we have decided not to renew it.”

Rhode Island: In West Warwick, after 40 years West Valley Inn Banquet Facilities shutdown without warning or explanation, leaving many wedding planners pissed: “We’re frantically calling people, trying to just find something for the same day. If we don’t, we’re going to lose so much. We have our DJ booked, our photographer booked, tuxes are coming, cake’s going to be ready, RSVPs have come in. It’s come to the point, I just don’t know what to do.”-Matt Reale, husband to be

South Dakota:  About 60% of crops impacted by drought.   South Dakota State University also warning farmers to test damaged crops for nitrates before feeding it to their animals.

Tennessee: Logan’s Roadhouse now bankrupt busted, 18 restaurants shutting down!  In addition to the 11 francise restuarants shutdown in Illinois, Maryville based Ruby Tuesday shutting down another 95 restaurants across the U.S., blaming it on the loss of $27.6-million USD in its last quarter!  The Fox and Hound restaurant in Chattanooga shutdown without warning, management telling employees the company was bankrupt.  Also, World of Beer restaurant shutdown without warning, a sign on the door told employees where to get their final paychecks.

Texas: In Austin, after 53 years iconic El Azteca forced to shutdown due to the family owners selling the property.  In Houston, Aunt Bea’s restaurant  shutdown, never recovering from a fire back in January.  The Beaumont Enterprise revealed that 50% of Hardin County food businesses inspected by county health inspectors, failed! The other 50% of businesses inspected lost points on food temperatures and cleanliness.  In Longview, after 11 years Fritz’s restauarant shutdown becasue “The economy started to go bad, and a restaurant opening every week”.

Virginia:  News media report that Tennessee based Ruby Tuesday suddenly shutdown at least five restaurants, in Ashland, Hampton Roads, Bristol, Lynchburg and Roanoke.  In Richmond, Commercial Taphouse & Grill suddenly shutdown, but the owners promised they would be back with a new restaurant.

Washington DC: Restaurants Alfie’s, Chez Billy, 30 years old Primi Piatti and Döner Bistro shutdown.

Wisconsin: Mantiowoc Beverage System eliminating 84 jobs between October 2016 and January 2017, no reason given.  Sentry Foods shutting down one of two of their grocery stores in Waukesha right after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. Administrators claim those employees that will lose their jobs have already been notified.  In Milwaukee, grocery store Pic-n-Save shutdown, 77 jobs lost officially due to bad economic condtions, but more likely due to Pic-n-Save’s parent company, Roundy’s, being taken over by evil Kroger.  In Middleton, after 34 years Scott’s Pastry Shoppe shutdown, the 75 years old owner said she’s ready to retire.

Tech/Communications layoffs August 2016: “WITH SUCH FAST GROWTH, WE LOST SOME FOCUS…”

U.S. Retail/Banking/Service Sector layoffs August 2016: “WE PLAN TO SELL IT DOWN TO THE BONES.”

Food Crisis July 2016: “The economy…is killing us!” 

WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification