Weekly Feature

2014-07-10 / Letters to the Editor

Fast food chains are not progress

Sorry, Dave Sherman, your call [in the July 2 and 3 Bee column] for more national fast-food chains in Buffalo is wrong. You mistake a strength — that Buffalo enjoys a culture of owner-operated restaurants — for a weakness.

National fast-food chains are not an indicator of progress. They’re simply outside corporations seeking to extract money from our economy to send back home to some other state.

Many local fast-food outlets buy the food locally. Try the french fries at Connors Hot Dog Stand. The potatoes are freshly dug in Brant and travel a few miles to Angola-on-the-Lake. Do you think that Chick-fil-A is planning menus based on what is locally farmed here?

The chains pre-prepare food in a massive out-of-state kitchen, freeze it, ship it across many states, and then merely reheat it for you and your kids. The locally owned restaurant has access to locally grown food — cooked when you order it, not months in advance.

When locals spend money locally, it lifts everyone. One study found that of your dollar spent at an area business, 68 percent remained reinvested locally. In contrast, there was a loss of 23 percent when your dollar is spent at a nonlocal outfit: only 43 cents of your dollar remained local.

Area companies purchase goods from other local retailers and manufacturers, vehicles from local auto dealerships, and rely on local individuals for professional services, such as accounting, human resources, legal and marketing. That trickle-down wealth effect means that there will be jobs awaiting our kids when they graduate.

Mr. Sherman, please stop wasting your money at national chains. Instead, treat your family to more wholesome food that’s available in the owner-operated restaurants that grace the Buffalo Niagara region.

Michelle Parker
Hamilton Drive

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