23rd June 2024

I simply completed wrapping up the chapters within the new ebook1 on the risks of denominator bias, together with associated chapters on lack of context, framing, and the inherent deceptiveness of asymmetrical arguments.

Concurrently with sending these to my editor, an e mail arrives asking: “If the economic system is so sturdy, how do you clarify all of those restaurant closings?!”  They despatched a video from a lady, Wendy Bell, who’s incensed at America’s obvious financial collapse.

That was information to me. As I discussed final week, it’s more and more tough to get a restaurant reservation (on the higher locations, anyway).

I watched the video, a cacophony of denominator bias, missing any context, crammed with inherently misleading asymmetrical arguments, and nil framing (apart from overt partisanship).

A number of points leaped out as I listened to this:

Context: Is that this plenty of restaurant closings? The identical as traditional? Much less? With out understanding common closings per 12 months this data is ineffective.

Denominator blindness: This record of some hundred eating places – out of what number of? Is that this vital?

Asymmetry: A listing of closures with no record of openings is moderately misleading.

Inaccuracy: The day after I began penning this, the hivemind identified many inaccuracies within the record, resulting in a neighborhood word displaying many errors (beneath). A fast Google search revealed different errors, falsehoods, and outright misinformation as properly.2   Reddit additionally stepped up.

Previous & Drained: For essentially the most half, the record is crammed with mediocre chains and junk meals joints, generally present in malls and procuring facilities, which all have their very own retail points. A number of the musty outdated joints have been round for the reason that 1980s, and plenty of have had points with Non-public Fairness investments.3

Should you wished to interact in sincere debate concerning the economic system through eating places, you’ll think about the next:

Openings: Practically 53,800 eating places opened their doorways for the total 2023 12 months, up 10% from 2022. Or, examine that to the pre-pandemic 12 months. In 2023, openings had been up 2% versus 2019, a modest improve in comparison with earlier than the lockdowns. Supply: Axios

Closures: “Based on the newest analysis, 60% of latest eating places fail throughout the first 12 months, 70% of their second 12 months and 80% shut their doorways inside 5 years. The typical lifespan of a restaurant is just 4.5 years.” Supply: Binwise

The US Nationwide Restaurant Affiliation acknowledges a 30% failure fee because the norm within the restaurant trade. Supply: Restaurant.org; See additionally Why Do Eating places Fail?

Whole: There are 749,000 eating places in USA, a number of 1000 shut yearly. Even an correct record of closures tells you little concerning the state of the economic system. Supply: Restaurant Trade Statistics

There are lots of crosscurrents within the economic system, and it’s tough for an sincere data shopper to know what’s going on. Rubbish like this from folks purposefully making an attempt to confuse the general public is disgraceful. Because of this buyers should all the time be on guard towards nonsensical claims comparable to this…

Unique Transcript of Wendy Bell misinformation, Twitter Neighborhood word, and Redditt corrections after the leap.

What Is the Shopper Doing…? (Could 20, 2024)

Wages & Inflation Since COVID-19 (April 29, 2024)

Is Partisanship Driving Shopper Sentiment? (August 9, 2022)

1. Working title: “Debunking Monetary Bullshit

2. No, FUDDRUCKERS shouldn’t be closing; all 92 places had been acquired in 2022. The CEO responded to “Viral Misinformation” about their places within the US, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Canada, noting. Fuddruckers is experiencing development, (however did shut a number of underperforming places previously 12 months).

When thew very first instance is well discovered to be wildly incorrect, you understand there was no analysis accomplished.

3. We might have saved plenty of time and math just by observing anybody who says “Macaroni Grill, God they bought an excellent Margarita pizza!” is clearly a clueless dolt to not be taken critically concerning something with meals, eating places, or what have you ever…

Right here is the record of INACCURATE and MISLEADING data from Wendy Bell:

I bought a brand new record of eating places closing in 2024 all that be now prepared?

Fuddruckers is predicted to shut all of its places by the top of the 12 months (I like Fuddruckers! thanks Joe!)
Previous Nation Buffet, closing all of its remaining places biscuits and gravy actually
IHOP closing 100 places
Buffalo Wild Wings closing all of its Canadian places in addition to sixty within the Usa
Applebee’s closing 35 eating places
Crimson Lobster closing 50 places as they enter chapter
Denny’s closing 20 places by the top of the 12 months
Marie Callender’s nice pie closing all of its remaining places
Pizza Hut planning to shut 500 eating places Outback Steakhouse closing 40 one among their 700 places Sabarros it’s closing a complete of 50 places with majority being mall places
Marty or Marge pizza closing a complete of 27 places
Ruby Tuesday closing 16 eating places
BBQ closing eight of their 59 places
Joe’s Crab Shack these closing 41 of its 60 eating places you guys ever had a type of
Bonefish Grill closing 7 eating places

ohh wait a minute there’s extra center out backside up

Johnny Carino’s closing 30 places
Quizno’s Subs 140 places shuttered
Macaroni Grill – God they bought an excellent Margarita pizza —  closing 31 restaurant
TGIFriday’s 233 eating places
Nook Bakery Cafe closing 104 places
Au Bon Ache 100 shops and I nonetheless don’t know the right way to say that one
Oh Charlie’s 64 eating places and
91 Boston Market places proof are going away

Identical to $7 billion of pupil mortgage debt identical to that that’s what we name Biden magic and simply assume what number of jobs go together with every restaurant closing


Most of the restaurant closings didn’t happen in 2024 or in any respect. As an illustration, the closing of 500 Pizza Huts occurred in 2019, Fuddruckers is experiencing development, Marie Callenders remains to be working 24 places. There are additionally no dependable sources for quite a few entries.

Pizza Hut closures in 2019

Fuddruckers rising, not closing

Marie Callenders nonetheless working all places


Apparently Joe Biden is why eating places are closing

Biden is seemingly chargeable for all of those eating places shutting down.

I don’t know who the lady is, however she’s some dumb proper wing discuss present host, I’m guessing. I like how she lists the eating places like they’re sponsors and doesn’t present context as to why these closures are occurring.

She then mentions pupil mortgage debt as a result of for some purpose, serving to folks pay again their loans required for schooling so that they don’t file for chapter is unhealthy. And she or he has no proof that pupil mortgage forgiveness ruins the economic system.

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