Chain restaurants aren’t all bad, and sometimes if you’re in an unfamiliar city it can be nice to go somewhere like Denny’s or McDonald’s where you know exactly what you’ll be getting. However, the advantages of chain restaurants pretty much end there. Next time you’re trying to decide where you should go for dinner, or even who to call for delivery, think about these five great reason to choose Cedars or any other independent, locally-owned business over a chain.
1.) Full of History
We like to think that buildings have memories. Every time an old building is demolished, a city loses a part of itself. Our restaurant is built inside of one of Seattle’s large old heritage homes in the U-District, allowing us to salvage a classic piece of the neighborhood’s architecture and give it new life. Because we’re independent, we aren’t tied to any company policy, meaning Cedars is free to shape its own identity, change with time, and become a true part of the neighborhood.
2.) Personally Invested Owners
At a chain restaurant, the business may be the livelihood of the people who run it, but at a family-owned, independent business, it’s pretty much their whole life. It’s not easy to keep a business running, and you can bet that both generations of Cedars’ owners have put in literally thousands of hours of their time, plus quite a bit of blood, sweat, and tears (though not in the kitchen of course!). And when the owners of a restaurant really deeply care, you’ll see it reflected in everything, from the recipes to the service to the decor.
3.) Room to Innovate and Grow
Chain restaurants typically have a set menu that varies very little from location to location. This makes it easy for franchise owners or managers to serve up decent food consistently, but it also means that there is basically no thought or creativity put into the recipes. Most chain restaurants are more interested in being reliable than they are in pursuing the best possible flavor and constantly experimenting with their menu. At Cedars, we are always pushing ourselves.
Cedars has been in the family for over forty years and two generations. And our notion of family extends beyond that—we’ve had relatives workign at Cedars or as suppliers, and it doesn’t take too long to feel like every employee is a big part of a family. We don’t think of our employees as dispensable or just cogs in a machine; each person brings something special and unique to our business.
5.) Money Stays in the Community
Chain restaurants are typically either multiple restaurants under one umbrella of corporate ownership, or they are locally-owned franchises. In either case, your money is going to be funneled back to a corporate headquarters somewhere across the country; the only difference is whether it’s all the profit or just some of it. When you patronize locally-owned and independent restaurants, however, your money stays in your community. When you buy dinner at Cedars, you can rest assured that the money you spent goes right back into Seattle.
And as should be obvious, we will definitely beat any chain restaurant when it comes to flavor! Choose Cedars for your next night out, and take part in a local tradition.