What’s Happened to America’s Work Ethic?

Tom Egelhoff
4 min readJan 29, 2022

Has America Become Anti-Work? Or Just Lazy?

Growing up in the Midwest in Southern Illinois, Steak ‘N Shake restaurants were a weekly staple of my diet.

So you can imagine the heartbreak of reading about the Billings, Montana location going out of business after only three years?

As a student of business, I know there are a variety of reasons why one franchise in one location thrives and another does not.

It’s not easy to pick out that final straw that broke the camel’s back.

Here are a few things we do know as reported in an article in the 2016 Billings Gazette.

“Owner Spencer Erwin said Monday that he had struggled to keep employees since he opened in December 2013, and he felt the restaurant at 4002 Montana Sapphire Drive lacked community support.

The restaurant was never profitable, and Erwin estimated he hired 275 different people during his short tenure — a rate of six to 10 a month to maintain a staff of about 25.

“You just can’t get any traction with the customers, the community, when you’re constantly taking one step forward and two steps back,” said Erwin, a Gallatin Gateway resident.”

Entry Level Jobs

Fast food restaurants usually pay their employees minimum wage or slightly higher depending on the quality of people applying and the available pool of quality workers applying.

Hiring at a rate of 6 to 10 people a month is a red flag and would suggest several things.

Before delving into those, it should be noted that I have no firsthand knowledge of this location or their specific business or hiring practices, so I will be speaking in generalities.

I will not be addressing this specific business, its ownership, or its employees.

Franchises Work

Usually, a substantial number of franchises succeed because they have a business model that works when it’s applied in the right way, at the right place, with the right ownership.

They have worked out all the kinks while growing the franchise.

Tom Egelhoff

Top Writer on Government, Entrepreneur, Radio Talk Show Host, Subscribe to my FREE Small Town Business Newsletter on Substack https://tomegelhoff.substack.com/