East Bay Asian Restaurant Robber Caught

An article in the San Francisco Chronicle noted that Oakland police had nabbed one of two suspects who they think have been robbing a string of Asian restaurants in the East Bay, starting as far back as August.

My reaction? Thinking that all Asian restaurants are going to be more grub-friendly than others, I immediately thought, “how stupid is this guy, Asian restaurants are the most grub, how much cash does he think he’s gonna get??” But after reading the article, I’m going to correct my initial reaction. Why?

* Quick access to cash. Asian restaurants, though many take credit cards, may also have a large following of cash paying customers. Even if it were a grub restaurant, if it were popular, he could make up in volume what he gives up in per-person cash haul.
* Bigger margins at non-Chinese restaurants. One of the restaurants named was a Japanese restaurant. Those and Korean places can get away with charging more money for the food…and consequently that’s why you hear more Chinese proprietors running these establishments. They know margins with Chinese food are abysmal. And if the honkies can’t tell which Asian country you’re really from, why not open one of those other types of restaurants up?
* Crowds. The suspect confessed that he only targeted restaurants that had a lot of cars outside. My peeps love to eat, and to pack a bunch into a minivan or SUV to hit a grub establishment. (However, he also robbed customers…not sure how many jewelry items he nabbed that ended up being faux replicas of real Rolex watches.)

Back to our regularly scheduled food investigation…

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