Betsy’s Pancake House Blames Crime for Business Drop

Betsy’s Pancake House has been serving breakfast and lunch in New Orleans for 35 years.  But now Betsy’s pancake house business is suffering.  And Betsy’s Pancake House blames crime in New Orleans. This is a real problem.  If local businesses can’t attract customers because of crime, then New Orleans has a survivability problem.  Small businesses create 2/3’s of new jobs nationally and nearly 90% of new jobs in New Orleans.  If crime kills small businesses in New Orleans, then we can pack it up. 

Betsy’s daughter, Mary Murdock, now runs the restaurant. She said customers “are afraid to come and park their cars because of the carjackings and the break-ins,” Murdock said. “It’s not only us, it’s any place in the city that you go to.”  She also adds that hiring employees is difficult because of crime.  “We cannot get employees because people are afraid to come to work. We open at 5:30 in the morning and our girls and our guys in the kitchen have to be here at 4:30, 5 o’clock in the morning.”

New Orleans has a major crime problem.  And according to Betsy’s, crime is the reason for everything.  You get the idea.  If you let Betsy’s tell it, then their dry thin greasy bacon is because of crime.  The sticky old, cracked tablecloths in Betsy’s – crime.  The horrible smell just outside the door of the restaurant kitchen -crime.  The dirty cups and bent old silverware – you guessed it crime in New Orleans.  And let’s not forget that shiny clean new 24 hour Waffle House restaurant on the next corner.  Its always crowded and has a smooth new parking lot.  But the reason Betsy’s business is declining- that horrible crime in New Orleans.

Awning at Betsy’s Pancake House

The Betsy’s crime claim is a calamity.  You can either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution.  Betsy’s blaming their business failing on crime is as bad as their dry oatmeal.  We need business leaders to offer good paying jobs with clean working conditions.  Calling the grown women who work in their kitchen “girls” is emblematic. Respect your employees and pay them a good wage.  Waffle House is less than 200 feet away and is fully staffed 24 hours a day.  The brand new hospitals with thousands of employees is easy walking distance.  Maybe market to those people?

There’s an old pancake joke that goes, “Did you hear what happened to the angry flapjack?  It totally flipped.”  Betsy’s flipped.  Instead of looking in the mirror, they are blaming the community that could support them.  And ironically they now beg for some community welfare.  Their dog whistle for customers as they threaten to move to Metairie is as appalling as the dangerous, slippery and greasy sidewalk by their side entrance.

Yea crime is bad.  But Betsy’s business is failing for about 20 other more significant reasons than crime.  No, these aren’t the first people to mess up their inheritance.  But them blaming crime is shameful. Listening to them whine flop around is like a short stack of pancakes without the syrup.

7 thoughts on “Local Restaurant Might Close – Blames Crime”
  1. White people love to blame black people for their shortcomings. What happened to pull yourself up by your bootstraps? They were given everything and lost it. Now they want to blame black people.

  2. Why does everything have to be about race? They just said carjacking. Is that only black people? Well yes. So stop ruining our businesses! I live in Charlotte and we don’t have these problems. We have jobs for our people.
    Maybe yall need more jobs in N’Awlins. 🙂

    Christopher P

    1. Are you seriously suggesting that white people don’t carjack? Is that what you’re saying? Are you suggesting they don’t have carjackings in Charlotte, NC? And there are plenty of jobs here. And the situation in the country is the same, there are not enough workers for the jobs. That’s why we don’t have enough teachers, police persons, fast food workers, janitors etc etc. They pay crap wages and the work environment and work/life balance are off kilter. We live in a tourist economy. And Betsy’s is old and very vanilla compared to all the other options. There are 2 million other choices for breakfast in mid city that wasn’t there a few years ago. Also, the Black people they gentrified out of mid-city don’t want to travel that far for grits and eggs. Now there is a new hipster/hippie/not boomer crowd that don’t eat pork, but they like quiche and breakfast bowls with kale in it. I love traditional breakfast and I used to go to Betsy’s 4 years ago. I haven’t been back. Wasn’t such a bad experience, but there are so many options in walking distance.

  3. The last time I was in Betsy’s (about 6 years ago), the waitress was very slow to wait on me and my son (we are African-Americans, the waitress was Caucasian). Other customers were waited on immediately, except for another African-American couple sitting nearby, who I noticed was waiting patiently also. Well, needless to say, it was the last time I patronized them. And of course, I shared my story with everyone I know. So I’m not surprised business has gotten bad for them. They should look within, before blaming outside sources for their failure. If Betsy’s decide to close, all I have to say is “BYE BETSY’S!”

  4. The “our girls and guys in the kitchen” JUMPED off the page – low pay equates to low morale! About 25 years ago I went there there for breakfast with a “light skinned brother” from high school. They served him before me (and probably thought he was my “good looking white boss”). The shocked look on the waitress’ face when she realized who was the BOSS! Years later, while working at UMC I went there with a white co-worker and experienced the same treatment!

  5. as a customer of Betsy’s for 20+ years my patronage has decreased substantially, not because of crime. The quality of service and the food is not what it used to be. So to the heirs of Betsy, Just leave but understand the crime that was committed was YOU NOT UPHOLDING THE STANDARDS OF BETSY….

  6. In no way do I intend to minimize the reality of folks’ experiences or justify behavior that has no place in the world I seek for us all. I wish only to convey that for those who don’t know, the current owner quoted in this article is the daughter of Betsy’s founder-who was beaten to death a few years back in a random act of violence. Perhaps some of us perceive events/circumstances through the lens of our experience which might explain why this woman is leaning into the issue of crime (which of course is an entirely separate from other stated concerns). Respectfully, I just wanted to share some additional information.

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