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David Chang: The Restaurant Industry Needs a ‘Kick in the Ass’

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Updated: | Originally published: ;

Correction appended, April 26

The restaurant industry is about to collapse, Momofuku restaurateur and food business titan David Chang argued during the TIME 100 Gala celebrating the 100 most influential people in the world on Tuesday. (Chang was honored in 2010.)

In a recent GQ op-ed, Chang wrote that restaurants work on razor-thin margins, and diners are going to need to learn to pay more money for their favorite foods so restaurants can survive.

“We need a kick in the ass,” Chang told TIME on Tuesday night. “Restaurants aren’t going to go away, but it will be difficult for independent purveyors to operate the way things are,” he said, adding that he’s not certain what the solution is without raising prices.

“Lots of places are going to close,” he said. “Only then will things start to change—both for restaurants and diners.”

Correction: The original version of a photo caption with this story misidentified the person accompanying David Chang. She is Grace Seo.

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Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com