EDITORIAL – We’re living in a skip-the-restaurants kind of world


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS has got to be one of the toughest lines of work to get into, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any easier.

They seem to be dropping like flies — Milestones, Montana’s, Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s. They’ve all closed their Kamloops doors just in the last couple of months or so, along with the Teenie Bikini Bistro (if that one counts) and Storms, which has just announced it’s shut down but looking for a new location.

People like newness in restaurants. They’ll flock to a place that’s new, has good food and preferably a view. When it starts to get old, they move on.

So what’s really happening? There’s speculation that taxation is influencing the decision of restaurant entrepreneurs to close up shop but I suspect there’s more to it than that.

For one thing, drive-thru establishments are renovating or building new, and expanding their menus, providing attractive options for this impatient world in which we live.

And then, along come the delivery services — Skip the Dishes, Door Dash, Uber Eats, GrubHub. Suddenly, having a meal delivered to your doorstep is all the rage.

These services simply pick up restaurant food and drive it to you. They market themselves as “partners” that expand restaurant business but in the long run they keep customers at home instead of at restaurants. Who needs a server when you can hole up at home instead?

Restaurants are an important part of our lifestyle, and the variety of them is an indicator of the vibrancy of a community. Without sounding like a shill for the restaurant industry, I suggest there’s something to be said for ignoring the drive-thru, skipping the delivery service, and going out for a nice restaurant meal once in awhile.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (8247 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on EDITORIAL – We’re living in a skip-the-restaurants kind of world

  1. Someone could tell you it is the level of taxation, taxpayers taxation that is, that does not leave much in a household budget for discretionary items like dining out. Personally though I find the “run of the mill”, overly salted, overly cooked and somewhat boring menus and often-found bad/annoying service coupled with tacky decor and questionable cleanliness to be the various reason as to why I much prefer a boiled egg at home rather than going out to a restaurant on a regular bases. And I would rather drop a lead ball on my foot rather than ordering a meal through a home-delivery service. And I would rather drop two lead balls, one on each foot, rather than using a drive-thru. But there are a few gems in the Kamloops food scene and at least one of them is on wheels and the other one has reservation for two this Friday evening.

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