Could Emeril Lagasse, one of America’s first food TV celebrities, be going broke? That’s what the famous TV personality and chef implied at a recent promotional event for his new TV show On the Menu. Emeril slammed the president’s mishandling of the economy, and said that between high costs of food, fuel, and rent, successful neighborhood restaurateurs are becoming a rarity.
Emeril went on to explain that the state of the food industry is so dire that eventually only fast-food chains and high-end chefs and restaurants will be able to succeed, while the “middle class” restaurants are in danger of being wiped out altogether.
“The margins are becoming very difficult, where there are a lot of months that I don’t have margins,” Lagasse added. “It’s not that I’m a bad operator. It’s just the economics of the way that things are happening — the way that it’s been stacked up.”
Although Emeril is less-than-likely to literally go broke, his words struck a chord with the audience at the event. In contrast to his words, On the Menu, a new TNT reality show, actually deals with restaurant chains rather than average restaurateurs. The show, which premieres on October 3, features home cooks vying for the chance to have their dishes featured at major restaurant chains across the country.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi