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Taylor Gourmet Deli, Local Sub Chain in Numerous Area Locations - All Stores Are Closing


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A few years ago I expressed jealousy of a friend who worked near the Whitehouse because he was close to Breadline (which, despite allegedly being way past its prime, I still think is pretty good). I was completely appalled that he said “why bother going to Breadline with its long lines since Potbelly is right there.” And he’s not a millennial, so I think this problem transcends generations.

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The indignity of working in the US hospitality industry can only be rivaled by flying coach or taking a 1960's commuter train in the 21st Century America.  Terrible pay and little to no benefits*.  It

Really unnerving how divisive it is, that dude got crushed just for meeting the incoming president. Sort of nervous to leave the country any time soon, having a green card and brown skin... mom on my

How is living wage possible when most of the review is all about "getting money's worth.", "cheap eats," etc? Look at most of the review on yelp, google, etc and over 90% of them is all about eating c

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Taylor Gourmet will close all 17 of its DC-area stores after Sunday, September 23... Taylor Gourmet’s management team learned of the closures today. 

2 days notice for all employees that they don't have a job anymore on Monday. That's nice.

I hope Casey Patten steps in shit and that his keys, wallet and expensive telephone fall irretrievably through a sewer grate.

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3 hours ago, Pat said:

I'll be interested in the post-mortem laying out what went wrong. Did it start with substituting bread that wasn't what was advertised? 

This was the very first thing I thought of as well (long ago, Taylor had bread driven down daily from Philly's Sarcone's Bakery, before announcing to a betrayed public that they'd no longer be doing that). Then the second thing I thought of was the copper pot, sitting out for all to see, at Cava Grill in Bethesda, with assurances of pot-braised lamb. And then I thought about Oyamel opening in Crystal City: There, sitting out for all to see, were little old Latina ladies, hand-making tortillas, right as you walked in the front door. When Ray's Hell-Burger first opened, I walked in, and Michael was working a meat grinder right behind the register, hand-forming hamburger patties as a line of people which snaked out the door stood and stared.

I've learned a lot over the years, starting in 1985, when I worked for an unbelievably superficial, image-conscious, Big 8 Accounting Firm which pulled me into a manager's office and lectured me because I had lunch with a secretary, saying that "professionals shouldn't be co-mingling with support staff." (I later found out that the manager who lectured me was having an affair with the secretary.)

Founding Farmers is all people need to know regarding "actual quality" vs. "perceived quality." Educated diners like our members know the difference, but there are very few educated diners, hence our self-limited membership size which is perfectly fine with me because I'm not compromising our standards for money. Did I just go off on a tangent?

One of our members sent me this PM on September 13th: "If you liked last week's strategic schadenfreude bankruptcy I'll bet you an order of seasonal risotto balls there's another one coming shortly..." I couldn't get him to cough up the details, unfortunately.

Ebenezer Barnum

 

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I am quite disappointed by this closure. I can’t say I thought all of my meals from Taylor were enjoyable, but I can say that I enjoyed knowing that Taylor (and not jimmy johns or subway or Jersey Mike’s) was a “local” shop.

 I am sorry to their employees.

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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

This is becoming national news.

"Sandwich Chain Closes Because Customers Can't Stomach that Owner Met Donald Trump" by Glenn Fleishman on fortune.com

I'm sad about the closure, because while they were inconsistent, I enjoyed having them as an option because when they were good, they were good. 

On the national news front, though, this feels like they're hopping on a BS clickbait train.  I've been consistently disappointed in Fortune's articles for a while now, along with most of the Big Media. Yesterday, I saw the word "We" in a NY Times headline, as in "We Unearthed the Trail" or something like that.  There are generations of NYT publishers and journalists flinging themselves in their graves.  (And my position has nothing to do with who's POTUS.)

Maybe I should move this to another forum and continue my cane-waving, rocking-chair rant there...

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9 minutes ago, captcourt said:

On the national news front, though, this feels like they're hopping on a BS clickbait train.  I've been consistently disappointed in Fortune's articles for a while now, along with most of the Big Media. Yesterday, I saw the word "We" in a NY Times headline, as in "We Unearthed the Trail" or something like that.  There are generations of NYT publishers and journalists flinging themselves in their graves.  (And my position has nothing to do with who's POTUS.)

Maybe I should move this to another forum and continue my cane-waving, rocking-chair rant there...

No, I agree that article is *lame* - I double-checked the URL to make sure it was actually Fortune. Thing is, it's also in Chicago.

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I was really annoyed when they didn’t have the pork and broccoli rabe sandwich because that was not seasonal.  Yes, get rid of one of your most popular sandwiches for an extended period.  I’ll miss the risotto balls.  Good luck to the hard working employees.

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We've enjoyed the risotto balls (regular)  over the past few years with our son mainly at the Mosaic location. The sandwiches have been hit or miss. 

Over expansion and bad financials does seem like it will shut down many places that do have the appearance of being successful. 

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I too had a love/hate relationship with Taylor, but will miss them for sure.  It seemed like they couldn't get out of their own way.  The pork sandwich was great, then they took it away.  The bread lie was annoying.  Then they started significantly scaling back the chicken cutlet and cold cut menu to the point that there were only a few options for each.  I never understood adding mediocre cheesesteaks and burgers.  Oh well.

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It appears to me as if a number of business things occurred very quickly with little notice coordination or planning. 

1. From the Chicago story it mentions a new store was announced just before this sudden bankruptcy and closing announcement.  That tells me senior management was chugging along thinking everything was okay.

2.  The majority owner with the cash into the business pulled out--suddenly and recently.   They must have pulled out the liquidity in the business--suddenly.  If you put $5+ million in and you own 75%--and then you suddenly withdraw--you have to be pulling $$ out.  They also might be a creditor with cash due in the event of a chapter 7 sell off of assets.

3.  If the business was planning an expansion in Chicago, and the money partners were getting antsy or unhappy--it seems to me the money partners and the operating partners were not communicating well. 

4.  If you go back to #2 and the cash investor pulls out most/all/a big percentage of liquidity that was keeping the business afloat--then all of a sudden you are left with nothing to run the business on.   Something sudden and unexpected like that it could lead to a sudden/rapid decision on chapter 7.

Bam...that leads me to believe the operating partners and the money partners were not communicating well.

Of course all the above is conjecture.   I might have had a sandwich or two of theirs over the years--never got into them and they simply weren't the most convenient place for me.  

I do hope the employees get some kind of healthy severance pay.  I have no idea how that is treated in a chapter 7 bankruptcy.

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On 7/13/2018 at 12:04 PM, Kibbee Nayee said:

I don't like the cutesy names of the sandwiches at Taylor, like Ritner instead of Roast Beef. I also don't like that I can't get a legitimate Philly cheesesteak or Italian hoagie at either place. Rather, they have their own version of these, but not the originals.

Ritner is cute? it's just a street name in Phila. I kinda liked the street names.

4 hours ago, ICD said:

I was really annoyed when they didn’t have the pork and broccoli rabe sandwich because that was not seasonal.  Yes, get rid of one of your most popular sandwiches for an extended period.  I’ll miss the risotto balls.  Good luck to the hard working employees.

Yes. I was shocked when they got rid of the Pattison Ave (the pork, broccoli rabe, sharp provolone). That is an iconic sandwich in Filthadelphia, and to me that really said they had forgotten their roots, especially when they were putting out bizarre combos like that ChiKo thing.

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I was not a big fan based on the few times I went so this has no real impact on me.

The political angle is such a load of crap, though.  The Chicago locations both opened after the alleged Trump meeting fallout.  If it was suffering a loss of business, why expand?

DaveO got it right.  The money people and the operating people were not on the same page.  The business didn't have enough promise to have the money people keep the millions tied up and they left.  Simple as that.

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On 9/21/2018 at 8:45 PM, Poivrot Farci said:

2 days notice for all employees that they don't have a job anymore on Monday. That's nice.

I hope Casey Patten steps in shit and that his keys, wallet and expensive telephone fall irretrievably through a sewer grate.

Roti is another quick serve food operator holding a job fair and targeting Taylor employees.  Link

I've gained a significant sense of the situation for F&B workers workers at the low end of the pay scale via our efforts at placement for the bartending school.  Frankly those folks are at the bottom of the feeding pole and the first to get "shat upon".   Its additionally tough as many of them live check to check.  It is a tough situation.  There is nothing good about it from the perspective of the employees.

A market "saving grace" is that there is a severe shortage of workers of this type in this region.  There are a lot of job opportunities out there.  There are often a lot of job fairs of this type; the one's mentioned above are getting a little outside publicity;  they could be holding them as a matter of course or targeting Taylor employees or both, and getting a little PR good will for mentioning Taylor and getting it some press.   For the workers living check to check...it does end up sucking though even if they get a new job quickly.   They miss a payroll or two....and that plays havoc with their lives.  The school experience has made me acutely aware of this over many years.  I only hope most of those employees land jobs quickly.    It is a "place" where a social safety net would have enormous utility for all those workers.

 

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On 9/27/2018 at 2:43 PM, DaveO said:

I've gained a significant sense of the situation for F&B workers workers at the low end of the pay scale via our efforts at placement for the bartending school.  Frankly those folks are at the bottom of the feeding pole and the first to get "shat upon".   Its additionally tough as many of them live check to check.  It is a tough situation.  There is nothing good about it from the perspective of the employees.

The indignity of working in the US hospitality industry can only be rivaled by flying coach or taking a 1960's commuter train in the 21st Century America.  Terrible pay and little to no benefits*.  It is astounding and despicable that an $800 billion industry can't afford to pay livable wages, provide anything more than the worst health care available, paid maternity leave, paid vacations, paid sick days and paid holidays for all employees like every other modern country with electricity and indoor plumbing.

*ETA: With the notable and remarkable exception of a luxury boutique hotel where warm linens were provided before each shift, plentiful staff meals, staff outings, free room overnight (when available) for dinner -> breakfast shift, premium health insurance, ample pay and even a birthday card from HR.  

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29 minutes ago, jondagle said:

Interestingly, the Taylor Gourmet in DCA is still open today. Huh.

The closure is a loss for employees and customers. They made good samiches. Sounds like they were much better than owner. 

This may be farmed out to a food-service company - it isn’t impossible that the company was billing the airport authority, and sending Taylor a percentage of billings (or some variation - this is just a guess).

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On 9/27/2018 at 8:06 PM, Poivrot Farci said:

The indignity of working in the US hospitality industry can only be rivaled by flying coach or taking a 1960's commuter train in the 21st Century America.  Terrible pay and little to no benefits*.  It is astounding and despicable that an $800 billion industry can't afford to pay livable wages, provide anything more than the worst health care available, paid maternity leave, paid vacations, paid sick days and paid holidays for all employees like every other modern country with electricity and indoor plumbing.

*ETA: With the notable and remarkable exception of a luxury boutique hotel where warm linens were provided before each shift, plentiful staff meals, staff outings, free room overnight (when available) for dinner -> breakfast shift, premium health insurance, ample pay and even a birthday card from HR.  

How is living wage possible when most of the review is all about "getting money's worth.", "cheap eats," etc? Look at most of the review on yelp, google, etc and over 90% of them is all about eating cheap.

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13 hours ago, kieplangdu said:

How is living wage possible when most of the review is all about "getting money's worth.", "cheap eats," etc? Look at most of the review on yelp, google, etc and over 90% of them is all about eating cheap.

Maybe there are some other industries that need living wages too... 

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This was also mentioned in Tim Carman's recent review of Grazie Grazie:

"It doesn’t take a genius to surmise that the Taylor Gourmet dream died hard for Patten. He says he tried to buy Taylor Gourmet’s assets this spring in a bankruptcy auction but lost out to Source Cuisine, a company led by real estate developer Steve Kalifa, who plans to relaunch the sandwich brand in September. Kalifa may have secured the name, trademarks and logos, but Patten kept the passion for the original concept. Grazie Grazie, Patten says, is a tip of the hat to Taylor Gourmet’s former employees and loyal customers."

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