Washington DC-area hoagie sandwich chain Taylor Gourmet will close all 19 of its outlets largely due to a decline in sales after its co-founder attended an event last year led by Donald Trump, according to the Washingtonian. Seventeen locations are in D.C. and surrounding areas and two more are in Chicago.
While real estate costs, rapid expansion, and competition may have been factors, Washingtonian cites several company insiders who noted that sales dropped after co-founder Casey Patten was photographed with Trump. One said sales plummeted 40% the following day and “never recovered.” A Taylor Gourmet spokesperson said revenue rebounded.
Patten faced the backlash after an event in January 2017 with the president at the Small Business Administration. Taylor gave a short speech to Trump about how the food industry relies on immigrants and the American-born children of immigrants for staff, and Patten’s desire to reduce regulations that would affect his employees.
A D.C. neighborhood site, PoPville, posted an item about Patten’s attendance and a link to a photo. A social-media furor resulted.
Patten said later that he is “apolitical,” and he used his opportunity with the president to push small-business issues. President Barack Obama appeared at one of Taylor Gourmet’s outlets in 2012, and spoke about challenges facing small businesses with Patten and co-founder David Mazza.
Twitter wasn’t surprised:
BREAKING: The Hoagie Chain Taylor Gourmet is closing all of its stores.
Sources familiar with the company say that after the owner, Casey Patten met with Trump in 2017, sales plunged 40% and have barely recovered.
Note to business owners. DO NOT MEET THE PRESIDENT!
— Brian Krassenstein (@krassenstein) September 21, 2018
Three sources tell @jsidman that Taylor never recovered from its owner's photo-op with Trump. “Our sales dropped 40 percent the next day,” says one. “And it persisted and never really got any better.” https://t.co/oorYCbTQEH
— Michael Schaffer (@michaelschaffer) September 21, 2018
The co-owner of Taylor Gourmet went to the WH on 1/30/17 – at the height of the international uproar over Muslim Ban 1.0. “Our sales dropped 40 percent the next day,” says one source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “And it persisted and never really got any better.” pic.twitter.com/VaUZ9oecH1
— Josh Dorner (@JoshDorner) September 21, 2018
Taylor Gourmet is officially going out of business, and says its sales plummeted and never recovered after its owner met with Donald Trump. You swim with the traitor, you get eaten by the Resistance.
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) September 21, 2018