According to a report published in 2020 by CHD Expert foodservice data analytics firm, independent restaurant operators “represent 68% of the total US restaurant landscape and maintain a unique competitive edge in the market.” Despite best efforts by national chains, independents outnumber chain restaurants “by nearly two to one”.
Most independent restaurant operators don’t have the years of experience, brand recognition, resources, or solid credit that comes standard with national and multi- national chains. More independent restaurant operators translates into more inexperienced (not to be confused with untalented) restaurant operators. And more inexperienced restaurant operators in the market means more risk for your restaurant portfolio.
But no matter the risk involved, brick-and-mortar restaurants aren’t going anywhere. They’re crucial to driving foot traffic (adjacent brick-and-mortar retail needs all the help they can get), providing amenities for office tenants in mixed-use developments, creating a sense of place at the property, and igniting economic prosperity and development in the surrounding submarket. Folks will always need to eat.