With food-and-beverage outlets now among the fastest-growing categories in retail centers, a recent CBRE Group Inc. report identifies four emerging eatery formats poised for significant expansion: food trucks, food halls, celebrity-chef restaurants and “grocerants.”
The CBRE report highlights numerous data points that underscore the booming growth of restaurants, including that total U.S. restaurant sales surpassed grocery sales for the first time last year, according to government data, and that they have fared better since the recession than any other retail category.
CBRE enlisted its restaurant experts to identify the up-and-coming restaurant formats likely to drive the category’s further expansion in retail property. These four categories offer many or all of the attributes that appeal to modern diners and shoppers: diversity, convenience, uniqueness, relative affordability and experiential focus.
- Food trucks: While food trucks don’t often pay traditional rent, they attract shoppers to a center and have served as incubators to develop restaurant concepts that later become brick-and-mortar tenants.
- Food halls: This urban retail format features a changing mix of local and often independent food-and-beverage outlets that collectively add to the center’s atmosphere and uniqueness.
- Celebrity-chef restaurants: While sometimes expensive and risky to establish in a center, restaurants helmed by well-known chefs can be significant, exclusive traffic generators for a property when they succeed.
- “Grocerants”: Grocery stores that also offer prepared foods and made-to-order meals provide a mix of freshness, convenience and affordability that prove attractive to shoppers and, by extension, property owners.
Though these formats are popular, cultivating them can be risky for property owners. Restaurants— especially new, independent restaurants—have a notoriously high failure rate.
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