Post Pandemic Restaurant Sector of Houston
Houston’s food culture is as ethnically diverse as its population of more than 6 million people, with 10,000 restaurants serving cuisine from more than 70 countries and regions around the United States. With so many options, it’s no surprise that visitors to Houston have nothing but praise for the city’s culinary industry. Houston has been labeled the “newest capital of great food” by Food & Wine magazine, and Tasting Table magazine has named it the country’s most exciting food city.
It’s no surprise that food and beverage are having a moment. Before the pandemic, it was the hottest commercial real estate segment, and it continues to be the most constant industry bright spot today.
Early in the COVID-19 outbreak, a few newer players were particularly heavily struck, but the overall trend has been encouraging in recent months.
Existing Houston restaurateurs and those seeking a presence in the city anticipated a slew of new prospects following COIVD-19.
During the past year, Houston has not only been one of the most resilient food markets, but it has also been a wellspring of fresh and intriguing concepts, particularly among local operators and chef-driven concepts.
For example, Dutch Bros. and Black Rock Coffee Bar have aggressively expanded their drive-thru presence throughout the city. The Cookshack and Dave’s Hot Chicken, both based in Nashville, have recently announced plans to open up to 26 Houston and College Station stores, rapidly spreading throughout the city and suburbs. The fact that traffic, volumes, and occupancy are increasing in the full-service market is positive.
More concepts based on the retail paradigm and emphasizing experience are likely to emerge. In other words, in the post-pandemic future, what we eat and where we eat will likely be joined by how we eat in determining which concepts thrive and whose leases get signed.