Commercial Real Estate Recap | February 2018


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National Real Estate Investor I U.S. Chains Continue to Up Store Opening Plans

FiveGuysRestaurantU.S. chain retailers have upped their store opening plans ever-so-slightly in April, confirming a positive outlook for the retail real estate sector going forward, according to the National Retailer Demand Monthly report from RBC Capital Markets.

RBC researchers estimate that the chains in their database have increased the number of stores slated to open over the next year by 2.5 percent since January, to 41,918 new locations. The same retailers also increased the number of stores they plan to open over the next two years by 2.8 percent, to 78,647 locations. Restaurant operators, discount department store chains, children’s apparel retailers and gift sellers accounted for a significant portion of additional planned openings.

RBC REIT analyst Rich Moore also noted that retailers continue to expand their workforce, indicating that net store openings are likely to be positive.

“The strength of the store opening picture continues to push new shopping center development, which is at a post-recession high,” he wrote. “In all, the picture remains a healthy one for retail landlords, and we look for solid quarterly results in first quarter 2015.”

The top few retailers that plan to grow the most as a percentage of their existing portfolio are made up of restaurant chains and convenience stores, including Penn Station—East Coast Subs and Five Guys Burgers and Fries. At the same time, discretionary retailers Bed, Bath & Beyond, Urban Outfitters, Crazy 8 and Francisca’s Collections also found their way on the top 30 list in April.

Meanwhile, Dollar General (1,300), Family Dollar (1,000), Sephora (100) and Dollar Tree (600) were among the top 30 retailers planning to open the greatest total number of stores over the next two years.

Read more: National Real Estate Investor I U.S. Chains Continue to Up Store Opening Plans
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group

Business Insider : Quiznos Has One Last Hope For Its Business

Quiznos’ US business has been in a tailspin.

quiznos_logo1_fullThe sandwich chain has closed 3,000 restaurants in recent years and filed for bankruptcy protection.

Now the company is focusing on opening restaurants in Asia and the Middle East to drive profits, writes Venessa Wong at Bloomberg Businessweek.

The company hopes that growing overseas demand for US restaurants will help its business.

Wong notes that the company will have to contend with already-established competitors like Subway and KFC.

KFC now has more restaurants in China than in the US.

Serious flaws in Quiznos’ business model led to the company’s demise in America, The Wall Street Journal wrote last year.

The chain’s franchise owners have long complained that Quiznos charges too much for ingredients, eating into profits.

The company has also made key mistakes in its production process.

Read more: Business Insider : Quiznos Has One Last Hope For Its Business
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group

Denver Westword I Fast-Casual Pizza Chains Vie for a Slice of the Denver Market

pizzaRestaurateurs around Denver are really hoping you’ll get on board with their fast-casual pizza concepts; time and money are being spent perfecting dough recipes, building health-conscious angles, and firing up custom ovens to blister crusts in the amount of time it takes you to swipe a debit card. Businesses are welcoming comparisons to other successful fast-casual operations — after all, if consumers have made the lowly burrito the king of the quick lunch, success seems more likely for newer chains if they mimic Chipotle’s service model and goals. Pizzeria Locale, Modmarket and Project Pizza are all competing for a slice of the pie market and are learning as they go.

Boulder-based Modmarket just announced that it has retooled its dough recipe, adding stone-ground wheat to the mix along with sea salt, olive oil, agave sugar and an overnight rise, which, according to the company’s press release, adds more flavor and strength to the finished dough. The new dough is now available at all eight Colorado Modmarket locations. A recent article on Thrillist included Modmarket in a list of small chains that could someday reach Chipotle-like proportions. The company also builds sandwiches and salads, capitalizing on the healthy-food trend in case the fast-casual pizza boom fizzles.

This comes right as the latest Pizzeria Locale opened in the West Highland neighborhood and owners Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (both of Frasca fame) announced that they’ve rolled out a new 100 percent stone-ground wheat dough, some of which is actually ground in-store in a custom-built mill. Pizzeria Locale plans to retrofit its original fast-casual restaurant on Broadway with the same equipment and processes to make the new dough, which will also be the standard for all future locations. Comparisons with Chipotle are accurate when it comes to Pizzeria Locale; Stuckey and Mackinnon-Patterson teamed with the burrito giant to streamline the concept, based on their original Boulder pizzeria, for the fast-casual market.

Read more: Denver Westword I Fast-Casual Pizza Chains Vie for a Slice of the Denver Market
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group

Fast Casual I Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to expect in 2014

Predicting the year’s coming trends in any industry is a challenge but is even more daunting when it comes to forecasting what’s to come for restaurants, which make up the nation’s second-largest industry.

To give you a little insight on what to expect in 2014, has gathered predictions from some of the industry’s market research firms, including Mintel, NPD, Food IQ and Technomic.


Julia Gallo-Torres, the company’s category manager of U.S. foodservice, believes restaurants across the board will be affected by these five trends.

1. Fast casual pulling ahead: The impressive growth of the fast casual segment demonstrates consumers, who are still focused on price, are willing to pay more for foods they consider to be of better quality or healthier. To meet that demand, concepts focusing on customization, speed of service and convenience, have recently popped up, including high-quality burger chains, health-focused concepts and top-your-own pizza restaurants. Gallo-Torres expects more to emerge this year

2. Premium proves practical: Full-service concepts are mimicking fast casual restaurants and will continue to test speedier service models. This is important especially during the lunch rush, when consumers don’t have the time to wait. Other tactics include launching healthier, more flavorful menu items and employing technology to speed up the dining experience, Gallo-Torres said.

3. Open-book business practices: Consumers are questioning the origin of their foods and are demanding transparency in ingredient sourcing and in general business practices, including the treatment of animals and employees, Gallo-Torres said. Consumers are interested in patronizing restaurants and buying brands that reflect their own values. Concepts that understand this and offer more information about their green practices or the causes they support stand to reap the rewards of increased loyalty.

4. Marketing to different demos: Operators have been obsessed with Millennials, but three other demographics will move into the spotlight this year: They include: Hispanics, women and baby-boomers.

Hispanics’ spending power is expected to reach nearly $1.7 trillion by 2017, meaning serving this rapidly expanding community will be key to growth.
Women visit restaurants less than men, probably due to their being more health- and budget-conscious, Gallo-Torres said. This indicates restaurants need to do more in terms of pricing, atmosphere and menu to gain momentum with this group.
Baby Boomers enjoy dining out and have more disposable income than other demographics, but few marketing campaigns specifically target them.

5. Technology revolution: Restaurants are increasingly using technology to cut service times and to offer loyalty programs, promotions and discounts electronically. This trend will continue, Gallo-Torres said, with things like in-store tabletop tablets and digital menu boards offering nutritional info becoming more common. Brands are also redesigning their websites and embracing mobile sites, so consumers can have access to restaurant info on their phones.

Food IQ

When it comes to profiling flavors, Food IQ is full of predictions. Daniel Campbell, the company’s Research and Development assistant, expects restaurants to embrace sour recipes, along with locally grown produce, Heirloom beans and Brazilian and spicy Asian flavors.

Read more: Fast Casual I Restaurant Trend Mashup: What to expect in 2014
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group

Fast Casual I Smashburger debuts restaurant makeover

Smashburger debuts restaurant makeover

To say Smashburger’s CEO, Dave Prokupek, is comfortable with change is an understatement. In fact, he may even thrive on it and believes changing things up is one reason his chain has thrived since it launched five years ago. The better-burger franchise unveiled its redesign — its third in five years  — when it opened its 200th unit last week in Denver, Colo.

“When we started Smashburger we were committed to staying modern and relevant at every turn, in our recipes and in our design aesthetics,” Prokupek said. “This new design is part of that commitment, with high-tech digital menu boards and localized art and storytelling graphics that we believe bring the Smashburger brand and experience alive for guests in the restaurants. We believe evolution is vital in the restaurant industry order to stay at the cutting edge of the industry and relevant and interesting to our guests.”

The new design will serve as a template for all future openings, said Prokupek, who has plans to open 60 to 70 units this year. The updated décor also features softer lighting, earthy materials and brighter colors that offer a more contemporary feel. Each restaurant, however, will remain a little different from the next, because the chain will continue in its tradition of developing a local burger that incorporates the favorite ingredients and taste profiles of each region.

Read More:
Re-posted by: Crosbie Real Estate Group

Nation’s Restaurant News | Top 100: Top 5 fastest-growing chains

This story is part of NRN’s Top 100 special report, a proprietary census ranking the foodservice industry’s largest restaurant chains and companies by sales and unit data, among other metrics. The full report is available only to Nation’s Restaurant News magazine subscribers, and is part of the June 25 issue. Subscribe here.

Growth chains: Who’s on top?

That is the question industry professionals and interested observers in the financial, supplier, consulting and educational sectors want answered as they scope out competitors, prospective acquisitions, clients or case studies.

Here, we present the top five fastest-growing chains, based on the change in U.S. systemwide sales in fiscal 2011, or the year ended closest to December 2011, versus fiscal 2010. These chains are the current stars of the restaurant industry, with their expansion based not only on available runway for national growth, but also a clear consumer proposition.

While these top five growth chains favor sandwich and fast-casual players, two entries from the casual-dining segment, which was particularly battered by the recession, also made the cut.

Get to know these five chains’ sales growth, market share, U.S. unit growth and more.

1. Five Guys Burgers and Fries, Lorton, Va. (Sandwich)
2. Jimmy John’s
, Champaign, Ill. (Sandwich)
3. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Denver (Sandwich)
4. BJ’s Restaurants,
Huntington Beach, Calif. (Casual Dining)
5. Cheddar’s Casual Café,
Irving, Texas (Casual Dining)