Local Restaurants Struggle to Survive Silicon Valley’s Tech Assault

For years now, long-time inhabitants of the San Francisco Bay area have bemoaned the changes to their local communities and ways of life being forced upon them by Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, Google, Apple, and a host of other wealthy technology firms.
Now it appears that restaurateurs in the Bay area – particularly in Palo Alto, Mountain View, and the immediate Silicon Valley communities – are suffering from the presence of the technology mega-companies. In a recent article for the New York Times, Nicole Perlroth, the Times’ cybersecurity expert, reviewed and analyzed the situation in Palo Alto (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/19/technology/how-tech-companies-disrupted-silicon-valleys-restaurant-scene.html).
The future of the restaurants currently operating there looks bleak.
First among problems is the sheer cost of operation in a city where demand for space has pushed prices up astronomically. Rent for retail space in Palo Alto has risen 60% in the past four years, forcing restaurants and cafes – no matter how successful – to close and give way to offices and campuses for the technology people.
Another issue involves hiring restaurant staff. With the big corporations offering higher paying jobs and with the cost of living rising astronomically, cooks and wait staff simply migrate to the tech firms. They haven’t got a choice. This leaves the eateries scrambling to maintain enough staff even to stay open.
Related is the tech giants’ tendency to build their own cafes, restaurants, cafeterias, and catering establishments to service their workers, to the exclusion of the general public
The result is that Palo Alto and its neighbors are losing their local sit-down restaurants. And when a food establishment replaces them, it’s more than likely to be a fast-food type that provides quick take-away meals.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.