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straight cash homie
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Toyota’s departure tough to swallow for some Torrance restaurants

http://www.dailybreeze.com/2017/11/07/toyotas-departure-tough-to-swallow-for-some-torrance-restaurants/
The exodus of 3,000 Toyota employees has exacerbated the already tough conditions facing the South Bay restaurant industry, which is grappling with changing consumer tastes, fast-rising minimum wages and a crowded field of competitors.

Only a relatively few employees are left at the North American headquarters of Toyota, which announced three years ago it would move from north Torrance to Plano, Texas, by the end of 2017. Toyota, which has just concluded the sale of its massive campus, is following in the footsteps of Nissan, which moved from the South Bay to Tennessee a few years earlier.

Michael Shafer, owner of the Old Torrance landmark The Depot, said the loss of expense-account lunches and dinners from Toyota executives, the would-be contractors who wined and dined them, as well as the well-paid rank-and-file employees who were regulars at birthday dinners and other special occasions, has caused a “severe dip” in the bottom line of restaurants.

“I’m a member of two different South Bay business associations that are restaurant-oriented and everyone is saying they’re down,” Shafer said. “The loss of Toyota is a huge loss.
The departure of Toyota headquarters to Texas has left local restaurants like the Depot in Old Torrance down in revenue. Photo by Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze/SCNG
The departure of Toyota headquarters to Texas has left local restaurants like the Depot in Old Torrance down in revenue. Photo by Robert Casillas, Daily Breeze/SCNG

“Some are down as little as 15 percent to up to 25 percent depending on the restaurant,” he said. “It’s this whole domino effect. I’m sure all the Asian (food) markets are down.”

Companies that supplied services to Toyota also are cutting back or relocating.

Advertising firm Saatchi & Saatchi, for instance, which has an office on Sepulveda Boulevard in Torrance and counts Toyota as a major client, reportedly has opened a Texas office and has moved staff.

For Torrance Italian restaurant Aliotta’s Via Firenze, where bottles of wine sell for up to $700 and lavish dinners for Toyota executives were a regular thing, the loss of business has been devastating, owner Michael Aliotta said.

“At least $150,000 to $200,000 in business (annually) we lost,” he said. “We don’t do no more parties.

“I do feel Toyota,” Aliotta added. “I lost a lot of money. It’s a big change.”

Sector struggling

The loss of revenue from Toyota just adds to the overall malaise in an industry that has traditionally seen razor-thin profit margins in the best of times.

The emerging trend of inexpensive fast-casual dining options is hurting many full-service restaurants, where payrolls are rising as the minimum wage heads to an eventual $15.

And the sheer abundance of eateries has everyone scrambling for a piece of a decreasing pie at a time when wages are stagnant for many workers and high housing costs are consuming an ever greater share of household incomes.

“There’s a lot of problems in the restaurant industry right now,” said Vince Gaetano, president of the fledgling South Bay Restaurant Association and owner of Gaetano’s Restaurant in Torrance.

“As far as Toyota leaving, it’s one of many challenges we are facing,” he added. “One of the main challenges is that rising minimum wage.”

Not every restaurant is hurting, to be sure.

Tortilla Cantina in Old Torrance has seen an overall sales increase of 22 percent since 2013, owner Rick Gomez said. Sales were up 9 percent in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period the previous year.

But Gomez attributes the growth to the fast-expanding local craft beer sector, rather than food sales. Tortilla Cantina has about 50 craft beers on tap and goes out of its way to stock local products

“We are in the craft beer industry and you don’t see breweries closing — you just see a lot of them opening,” he said.

“A lot of them are taking the crowd that used to go to these restaurants,” Gomez added. “And they’re attracting a whole other crowd. We’re also attracting that same crowd. They’re not just going out to eat. They’re here for the experience, trying different beers.”

Sales taxes rise

The most recent figures provided by the city of Torrance suggest the industry is a lot healthier than the picture painted by Gaetano and others.

Restaurants accounted for Torrance’s third largest source of sales tax revenue in calendar year 2016. That was behind new auto sales, which actually declined 1.1 percent, and department stores, up 7.9 percent, as Torrance bucked the national trend of a decline in business at many brick-and-mortar stores.

Restaurants generated almost $5.9 million in sales tax revenue in Torrance, an increase of 8.1 percent over the previous year.

The refurbished and expanded Del Amo Fashion Center is driving overall sales tax growth of 3.6 percent, city officials said, with 2017 expected to show another increase over the previous year. New eateries there include trendy Asian restaurant Din Tai Fung, Brio Coastal Bar & Kitchen, and Bazille in Nordstrom.

Some though, aren’t convinced the mall’s success will last.

“The mall is a dead soldier,” Shafer said. “It’s too high-end for this area.”

Local restaurant owners are pinning hopes for an improved economic climate on redevelopment of the massive Toyota campus, which should bring in new companies and workers.

“I know somebody has bought it, but it’s going to be at least a year before we see new tenants move in,” Schafer said. “We can’t lose any more (big) businesses in the South Bay, we just can’t.”
The effect on local businesses when Toyota leaves town...
 

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Newbie One Kanobi
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Who would have thought. You have policies that go against common economic sense, business leaves. They're not going to take it up the A** or if they do they won't tolerate it long as it's not sustainable. But as usual the commie California will demonize those evil capitalists. Then more people end up homeless or at least loss of a job. Sorry this gets my goat (policies). California the commie welfare state. Stupidity just doubles down. But what do the politicians care? They have minions who blindly follow in hopes of "free" stuff and government as the savior. Also they are in their ivory towers while the rest of the land burns down. They got their golden parachutes. Not saying business is perfect either but when you suppress or discourage the main or supposed main model of economic system what do you expect? You collapse it.


I feel for the people who lost their jobs or down in business. Never a good feeling.
 

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Who would have thought. You have policies that go against common economic sense, business leaves. They're not going to take it up the A** or if they do they won't tolerate it long as it's not sustainable. But as usual the commie California will demonize those evil capitalists. Then more people end up homeless or at least loss of a job. Sorry this gets my goat (policies). California the commie welfare state. Stupidity just doubles down. But what do the politicians care? They have minions who blindly follow in hopes of "free" stuff and government as the savior. Also they are in their ivory towers while the rest of the land burns down. They got their golden parachutes. Not saying business is perfect either but when you suppress or discourage the main or supposed main model of economic system what do you expect? You collapse it.


I feel for the people who lost their jobs or down in business. Never a good feeling.


CA may feel even if Toyota leaves there will be another big business to take its place. Though, they could look at some of the big businesses that left the state for "greener" pastures.
 

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Newbie One Kanobi
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^^I don't know. Possibly but CA is very hostile to business or any economic progress if it's not orchestrated and control by the government or free will of the people. Yes I'm cynical but the garbage that comes out of that state, I'm not surprised.
 

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^^ CA can do this, because they know they are still the destination for many, individuals and businesses alike. It's location to the Ocean and beautiful weather in many spots is an added bonus.
 

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straight cash homie
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Discussion Starter #7
CA may feel even if Toyota leaves there will be another big business to take its place. Though, they could look at some of the big businesses that left the state for "greener" pastures.
If anything, only the companies with deep companies like those in technology (Google, Apple, etc.) would want to move here and can afford to pay a decent living wage to survive here, or may be not...
^^ CA can do this, because they know they are still the destination for many, individuals and businesses alike. It's location to the Ocean and beautiful weather in many spots is an added bonus.
It seems like people love coming to visit California, but a lot not aren't staying since it costs too much to live here. I'm one of those who wouldn't mind living, or would have to relocate deeper into the state in order to afford a property to live in.
 

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If anything, only the companies with deep companies like those in technology (Google, Apple, etc.) would want to move here and can afford to pay a decent living wage to survive here, or may be not...

It seems like people love coming to visit California, but a lot not aren't staying since it costs too much to live here. I'm one of those who wouldn't mind living, or would have to relocate deeper into the state in order to afford a property to live in.


You're right about that. It is expensive to live in Ca. Many aren't staying. They're moving North, driving up the costs of living in cities like Seattle and Portland.
 

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straight cash homie
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Discussion Starter #9
You're right about that. It is expensive to live in Ca. Many aren't staying. They're moving North, driving up the costs of living in cities like Seattle and Portland.
Seattle's almost like California pricewise...Portland is nice, but it attracts the same type of demographic as any left-leaning state. It still is less expensive than either but I doubt it will be as cheap as say Las Vegas or Phoenix soon enough.
 

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Seattle's almost like California pricewise...Portland is nice, but it attracts the same type of demographic as any left-leaning state. It still is less expensive than either but I doubt it will be as cheap as say Las Vegas or Phoenix soon enough.

That is true. Seattle has those that want to/are working for Amazon,to name one company. Portland does sound like a decent city

I would think Las Vegas would be more expensive than Portland due to it being a gambling mecca and partly due to so many reality shows filmed there, as well as being home to one of the biggest reality stars, Rick Harrison:smile:

Phoenix may be cheaper than all 3, but not for long. Many are moving there,and there has been an uptick in new subdivisions.
 

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straight cash homie
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Discussion Starter #11
That is true. Seattle has those that want to/are working for Amazon,to name one company. Portland does sound like a decent city

I would think Las Vegas would be more expensive than Portland due to it being a gambling mecca and partly due to so many reality shows filmed there, as well as being home to one of the biggest reality stars, Rick Harrison:smile:

Phoenix may be cheaper than all 3, but not for long. Many are moving there,and there has been an uptick in new subdivisions.
Portland is a nice place to visit, though as someone from LA, its the cold that gets ya there.

Other than the strip, the rest of the city isn't going to draw tourists. Yeah the prices and many communities there are affordable but again, the heat can get to some people, where living in Vegas isn't as fun as a weekend there.

For Phoenix, I almost moved there for a job, but many things fell through and didn't happen. I would still consider going there, though the drive back home to California is tiring if you have to do it every week. But yes, Phoenix is becoming another hot spot for transplants, probably even more than Vegas.

To relate it to this post, TFS has a huge customer service office in a Phoenix suburb, and it was a culmination of jobs taken from other locations and centralized there.
 

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Portland is a nice place to visit, though as someone from LA, its the cold that gets ya there.

Other than the strip, the rest of the city isn't going to draw tourists. Yeah the prices and many communities there are affordable but again, the heat can get to some people, where living in Vegas isn't as fun as a weekend there.

For Phoenix, I almost moved there for a job, but many things fell through and didn't happen. I would still consider going there, though the drive back home to California is tiring if you have to do it every week. But yes, Phoenix is becoming another hot spot for transplants, probably even more than Vegas.

To relate it to this post, TFS has a huge customer service office in a Phoenix suburb, and it was a culmination of jobs taken from other locations and centralized there.



That's cool (no pun) Phoenix is booming in popularity, especially for those tired of the cold and/or snow. It and Las Vegas are 2 of the cities drawing people from Cleveland, :laugh: You're fortunate to be close to all those cities.

I don't doubt TFS has an office there, They may be expanding to other Southern cities as well. It is too bad Toyota got out of the credit card business. I closed my credit card account, when I learned they sold the business to Comenity Bank.
 

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straight cash homie
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Discussion Starter #13
I don't doubt TFS has an office there, They may be expanding to other Southern cities as well. It is too bad Toyota got out of the credit card business. I closed my credit card account, when I learned they sold the business to Comenity Bank.
I didn't realize that TFSB doesn't run the Rewards Visa for both T&L anymore; that office is based in Las Vegas.
 

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California If the state were considered separately, it would rank as the sixth largest economy in the world, behind rest of the United States, China, Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported that California's GDP was $2.5 trillion in 2015, up 4.1 percent from a year earlier.

California will get along just fine without Toyota in Torrance. Torrance is a beach city and the Restaurateurs just need to reinvent themselves.

They could move to Texas too and setup next to the new Toyota head quarters.
 

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You're right about that. It is expensive to live in Ca. Many aren't staying. They're moving North, driving up the costs of living in cities like Seattle and Portland.
Seattle's almost like California pricewise...Portland is nice, but it attracts the same type of demographic as any left-leaning state. It still is less expensive than either but I doubt it will be as cheap as say Las Vegas or Phoenix soon enough.
Ah, yes, Kalifornication: Ruin your state by voting for leftist ideals like high taxation and onerous, big government, then get disgusted with what you vote for because now it affects you, so you move to a new location and then use the power of your fellow former California ilk to transform your newly adopted state and city into what you just escaped from. Kalifornication is a national disease with no apparent cure other than an extinction-level asteroid, and it's coming to your state soon....:)....enjoy! :thumbsup:
 

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Who would have thought. You have policies that go against common economic sense, business leaves. They're not going to take it up the A** or if they do they won't tolerate it long as it's not sustainable. But as usual the commie California will demonize those evil capitalists. Then more people end up homeless or at least loss of a job. Sorry this gets my goat (policies). California the commie welfare state. Stupidity just doubles down. But what do the politicians care? They have minions who blindly follow in hopes of "free" stuff and government as the savior. Also they are in their ivory towers while the rest of the land burns down. They got their golden parachutes. Not saying business is perfect either but when you suppress or discourage the main or supposed main model of economic system what do you expect? You collapse it.


I feel for the people who lost their jobs or down in business. Never a good feeling.
Friend, I totally agree with you, but I can't agree with your worlds "They got their golden parachutes"
 

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With hyper-regulation and excessive taxes, the only thing that keeps California afloat and will continue to keep it afloat are two things: The beautiful weather and the very wealthy 10% of state residents who will continue to live here regardless the tax situation. State legislators have been quoted in the past stating their banking on that ten percent to keep the state solvent. Anyway, if I were a business owner of any company of considerable size, I would never consider California as a location for my corporate headquarters. It may have been a great location to do so fifty years ago, but not anymore. Toyota is making the correct call.
 

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straight cash homie
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Discussion Starter #19
With hyper-regulation and excessive taxes, the only thing that keeps California afloat and will continue to keep it afloat are two things: The beautiful weather and the very wealthy 10% of state residents who will continue to live here regardless the tax situation. State legislators have been quoted in the past stating their banking on that ten percent to keep the state solvent. Anyway, if I were a business owner of any company of considerable size, I would never consider California as a location for my corporate headquarters. It may have been a great location to do so fifty years ago, but not anymore. Toyota is making the correct call.
I think the main industries now that carry California are in the tech field (Silicon Valley and now Silicon Beach) and of course, entertainment. Both of course, lean very left lol. Who knows how long Honda, Hyundai, Kia, and Mazda maintain their transplant corporate presence in Southern California.
 

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I guess it's time for us easterners to mine the Mississippi, them vermins are a comin (a joke people). I was there in 1959 and 1973, saw Alcatraz when it was still open. Tasted the air in 73 and found my occupation not in high demand. Drove back in 3 days in a 66 Chevy Van, first total I ever built. Gal told us to spend the night when we stopped for gas, bought them breakfast, community home with a few residents, then drove the rest of the way. Might have had 10 bucks when I got home.

The air back then was atrocious which is why I said "tasted". Maybe fresh air is the cure for what ails then Californians.
Wish you luck.
 
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