Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tastes of Center City denizens prove, thankfully, to be far too refined for the likes of artless national chain restaurants

Reaffirming news from this week’s Business Journal.
National chain restaurants are increasing their presence in the suburbs while still largely skirting Philadelphia itself.

Chains such as Cheeseburger in Paradise, Cheesecake Factory, NinetyNine and Fatburger have opened or plan to open in and around the area's major shopping malls.
While Center City does have some chain restaurants, particularly steak houses, most of the big casual dining chains have swarmed to the suburbs. To the point, the nation's two largest owners of casual dining restaurants -- Darden Restaurants Inc. of Orlando and OSI Restaurant Partners LLC of Tampa, Fla. -- have a combined 48 restaurants in the eight-county Philadelphia market, but only three are in Center City.
Casual dining restaurants are often attracted to big shopping centers because of the incentives they receive from landlords.

For instance, Cheesecake Factory is known for drawing hordes of people, and often has a line of more than an hour to get a table. As a result, Gorodesky said, the restaurant chain can command status as an anchor tenant, and with that receive improvement dollars toward renovations.

Plus, they need households.

"Center City has a strong residential population," Gorodesky said. "It's mostly young and old, but not the middle, which is the market for casual dining."
Apparently, the middle is the market for sucking too.

What? Do we think less of people that dine at chain restaurants? Absolutely.

The suburbs are for chumps. And chain restaurants are just one of the many reasons why.

Chain restaurants expand in the suburbs, not in city [Philadelphia Business Journal]
Chain restaurants in the United States are promoting dangerous "X-treme Eating", a US watchdog has said [BBC]
Chains Bring Strip Mall Flavor, Or Lack of It, To Manhattan [New York Times]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Only chain I'd really like to see in CC is Cheesecake Factory, anything else the burbs can have. Yet at least CF has opened in Willow Grove so I can at least get to one. That's one thing (of philly) I love about Philly that you don't have a gang of applebee's fridays etc but there are some, try out the locals I say.