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Robin Lee Allen

Editor's Letter: Poetic ending

This article ran in the Dec. 17, 2012, issue of NRN. Subscribe today. 

‘Twas a week before Christmas, and all through the land,
Consumers were shopping, according to plan.
They were feeling quite merry, and dining and drinking.
They were happy to see unemployment rates sinking.

Still, the year’s been a tough one, and often quite dreary;
Hurricanes and elections have left us all weary.
The blustering, the blowing — and I’m not talking Sandy.
The fiscal cliff looms; compromise would be handy.

The jerky recovery keeps eating at margins.
Even confident shoppers are still seeking bargains.
Commodities prices have risen all year.
The drought didn’t help much, and beef remains dear.

And health care reform has us counting up heads,
Asking, “Part time or full time?” left us thrashing in beds.
Do I pay; do I play? This dilemma’s a curse.
And what about service? Do we risk making it worse?

To be sure, we are waiting for detailed rules still,
But early cost crunching has some feeling ill.
One thing, nonetheless, has come into clear view:
With brand image at stake, watch what you say and do.

Gestation crates drew lots of attention,
And unionization began to be mentioned.
Lawmakers turned their sights to soft drinks,
And swipe fees and ethanol also won ink.

On the brighter side, gas prices were low,
And more access to funding let some concepts grow.
PE firms continued their restaurant buying,
And some companies saw public markets worth trying.

Ownership changes kept C-suites revolving.
Rampant remodeling kept old chains evolving.
Pumpkin and bacon were menu sensations.
Artisanal cocktails drew tipsy ovations.

Twitter and Foursquare remained all the rage.
“Back to the Start” stole the Grammy show’s stage.
Dan Cathy’s views on marriage were widely aired,
Reminding all that some thoughts shouldn’t be shared.

And as the year closes, some industry vets
Are taking their bows and leaving for rest.
To Brooks, Beall and Skinner we bid fond farewells.
What happens next? Soon enough time will tell.

That’s it in a nutshell; the year surely did fly.
There’s more in these pages to remember it by.
Lift a glass to the hours, the gold and the lead;
May your patrons stay upbeat and good times lie ahead.

Contact Robin Lee Allen at [email protected].
Follow her on Twitter: @RobinLeeAllen.

TAGS: Finance
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