Why You Should Go Local

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Why You Should Go Local

The Hi-Top Coffee shop in Fresno's Tower District is open and ready for business.

The Hi-Top Coffee shop in Fresno's Tower District is open and ready for business.

Photo by: Melissa Moua

The Hi-Top Coffee shop in Fresno's Tower District is open and ready for business.

Photo by: Melissa Moua

Photo by: Melissa Moua

The Hi-Top Coffee shop in Fresno's Tower District is open and ready for business.

Story By: Eric Ham, Reporter

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Red Robin for lunch again? Really?

Okay, I understand. Red Robin is not a bad place to be. It’s got food. It’s got ambience. There’s plenty to go around.

But, at the same time, Red Robin is everywhere.

In Los Angeles, you can eat as many bottomless fries as you can in Sacramento. Want one of those classic Red Robin burgers? Well, it doesn’t matter if you are in Portland or in Phoenix, because you’ll find one in both.

The same could be said of all household brands that you know and somewhat love: Starbucks, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Panera Bread and Peet’s Coffee have locations almost everywhere.

So why do we, here in Fresno, choose to constantly feed these major franchisees?

A prevailing theory is that we don’t have a choice; Fresno is devoid of good local business and the only places to enjoy a good meal, or a good cup of coffee, are these major franchisees.

And yet, this theory fails when considering the following.

While it is true that many locals maybe haven’t heard of Fresno’s local establishments, Fresno is teeming with local businesses that are popping up every day.

As citizens of Fresno, it’s crucial that we are made aware of these businesses, and that we make an effort to support our local picks as much as we can.

Firstly, when we support our local businesses instead of empower franchisees that have already found their success, we empower individuals that live in the same city that we do.

These business owners go to our grocery stores, visit our dentists, and are members of our churches.

Why do we support mega-brands when we could support our neighbors? Why do we choose to support corporations over our own community members? Our friends and families?

While it’s true that franchisees are managed by local individuals, the support that local business receive is still greater than that which a simple manager receives who has no control over the brand and product of these big franchisees.

Additionally, we often will have a far better experience at local businesses than we would have at one of these major franchisees. This is due to the demand for local business to be as courteous and high quality as possible.

When you own a local business the stakes are at their highest, and so follows the demand to have excellent service, quality product, and enjoyable atmosphere.

If I go to my local Chili’s and have a bad experience with my waiter, it doesn’t hurt Chili’s as a franchise very much.

They may have to fire that employee, and I may complain to a few of my friends, but ultimately this incident is a speck on the record that Chili’s has developed for its hundreds of stores.

However, if a local business begins to build up a reputation for bad service, then the business will eventually bite the dust. The result will not only hurt the business owner, but Fresno as a whole.

This is due to the fact that support of local business helps to grow Fresno culture and pride. As more businesses grow and thrive, Fresno continues to come into its own as a place to be celebrated and appreciated for its local establishments.

Such businesses include CharBurger, Hi Top Coffee, and HoP Pk, which all have opened up in the past year. There’s Butterfish, Farm Fresh Bowls, and Two Cities Coffee Roasters to name a few more that all reside in Fresno and Clovis. And the list of great local business doesn’t stop there.

It’s so important for us to recognize the value and quality of our local restaurants, coffee houses and ice cream shops. We need to promote their success, and donate to their growth as paying customers and patrons.

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