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The Future of Katz’s Deli

The ever-present disquieting thought in the backs of the minds of New York deli mavens, as they wait for their Katz’s Deli slicer to build their pastrami sandwich is, how long can this good thing last? The neighborhood keeps improving, real estate prices keep rising, yet here remains Katz’s, slicing cured meats since 1888. In Jordan Weissmann’s fascinating story for Slate about Katz’s, and its owner Jake Dell, we learn that there are additional financial pressures on the deli business in general. For instance, wholesale brisket prices have tripled since just 1988. Delis pretty much sell cured meat as a loss leader, making most of their profit on everything else. Continue reading