As the cost of living skyrockets, there is only so long before chefs (and there necessary employees) can work long hours, on their feet, without real benefits. The restaurant scene expanded to new cities when chefs saw opportunities to save money.
The profit margins in all restaurants are very slim. In order to survive the best chefs manage their costs first and the food second. A restaurant will survive with mediocre food and great service, but not with great food and mediocre service.
One of the reasons Chez Panisse survives is that they own their space and are not subject to rent increases.
People are continuing to eat less at home and more of their meals at some kind of restaurant so the industry isn’t going away it’s just in transition.
The golden age might be over, but you can find good food in more places than ever and that’s good for everyone.
Thanks for mentioning: All food comes from a farm, therefore making Farm-to-Fork meaningless.