Interesting thread, kind of like a time capsule. In 2006-7 I observed the beginning of the end spooled from the rise in gas to the $2.00 mark. It shook up everybody's working capitol, from the daily commute to importing/exporting goods, and employers were forced to increase staff pay and lean their operations to include laying off of staff. Materials were now more expensive to acquire, products more expensive to produce and ship, and our cost of living went up everywhere without anything to compensate.
When the housing market crunch hit, people no longer had their reserves, equity to borrow upon, SBA and banks stopped giving out business loans, and that killed those in my sector that cater to supplying the wares and builds for our clients setting up shop. Luckily for me, my operation of one "even though the public doesn't know it due to what I'm able to produce", I was able to scale back a bit on shop accommodations and diversify my portfolio into different construction and IT related fields to ride out the storm. Well, that was rather more then just a storm, it was a lengthy, years upon years of slow recovery, most of my competitors went belly up because they couldn't adapt or had the flexibility I have to change. It's only the past couple of years where things are starting to resemble somewhat along what it used to be, but by no means what it was in the 90's or early 2000s.
During the darkest times for the average person, as they lost their homes and possessions, went bankrupt, had to survive with less, they filled in the gaps by keeping their creature comforts to make themselves feel better, for at least while drinking that latte, or gourmet meal, they could forget about their struggles and loss for a moment. No longer being taxed with a mortgage or car payment they in the end had more disposable income because it wasn't tied up into those obligations.
There was a change in discernment and quality with their desires, the falling apart bare minimum coffee shops were no longer getting frequented as much, forcing some to upgrade, others to fold, and like my industry leaned out the competition. The big chains did fill in those gaps because they are large enough to ride out the storm, SB for example can keep a cafe open for years without making a profit since it's other cafe's are able to support them. If you look at the lay of the land today, 2017, there are many more chains and big players on the scene then the small mom and pops operations entirely due to the recession. It worked so well in their favor, their foot hold in the best locations firmly in place to this day makes it harder for new single owner shops to start up because the best locations are already taken up.