What would happen if Walmart announced that it was going out of business, shutting down operations and laying off its 2.3 million employees? How about Amazon, Home Depot, FedEx, UPS, IBM, Target and Starbucks, too? These are among the largest employers in the United States, with close to 6 million people working for them. While those companies are doing OK, and in some cases managing to prosper during our twin crises of pandemic and economic misery, another large employer is failing—and the government has taken almost no action. It’s the American restaurant industry, made up of more than a million restaurants across the nation, some of them owned by corporations, but many by small business owners trying to realize the American dream.
From the Feb 28, 2021, issue