Naples Tomato Suddenly Closes.
Per today's Naples Daily News and NBC2, Naples Tomato, operated over the past 8 years by Pete Serfass and Jack and Nadine Serfass, closed without warning after service on Saturday night.
The Serfass's decision left numerous employees in the lurch without expected paychecks today. Many live paycheck to paycheck. As the season is over and restaurants typically go to skeleton crews during the summer, it will be difficult for them to find jobs until November.
Numerous coupon owners and suppliers are also left high and dry, while the assets will be "liquidated" over time. Guess who's at the end of the line...and won't get a thing.
See articles at:
and at NBC-2 and others.
Got here on Thursday and headed to Naples Tomato for dinner on Friday...pulled up and there were no lights on nor was there a sign on the door. Should have checked here first, but every time we've gone the place was packed so didn't think they would be closing their doors. Sad as it was always enjoyed.
I've been looking for their groupon or other social media coupon for Naples Tomato. I remember one but I didn't buy it.
I found L'Etoile's, which, if not handled with great aplomb, can mark the end of a place. 280 coupons, meaning at least 560 diners at little or no profit can spell disaster for smaller places.
Groupon is a mixed blessing.
For a $30 payment for a $60 meal, Groupon keeps $15, and the restaurant gets $15, too. Yes, there's no profit if people wisely keep their purchase to just $60. Profit is made only on pushing drinks and appetizers and desserts to get the food and beverage in excess of the $60.
Restauranteurs who are not well established tell me they choose to take the hit, as far more people see and actually read the Groupon advertisement than buy it. So, it's still a cheaper cost for very targeted PR than using the newspaper. Most restauranteurs choose not to do Groupon because it cheapens the brand, and most importantly, those who use Groupons do not come back later to pay full price, they just go to other discounted places. In L'Etoile's case, 560 diners will require a lot of upselling of additional food to make it a break even. Their servers have been going to other restaurants...not a good sign.
Some crafty vendors are said to create special items and pricing just for Groupon discounts, where they jack up the price 2x to 3x, so the hit isn't so bad. Buyer beware!