"Fast Casual" Restaurant Segment Growing Fast in New Jersey
PARAMUS, N.J. (APRIL 22, 2013) –Smashburger. Noodles & Company. Five Guys Burgers. Firehouse Subs. Chipotle. Qdoba. Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. Potbelly. Pei Wei. Musclemaker Grill. Jimmy John’s. What do all of these restaurants have in common besides opening for the first time or expanding in the Garden State? They are part of the vastly growing restaurant segment known as “fast casual.”
As its name aptly describes, fast casual, which is the rising star in the restaurant business, represents those eateries, who offer a better quality of food and level of dining experience at slightly higher-priced menu items than the familiar fast food restaurants. Yet diners can expect a better value for the meal, more healthful fare choices sometimes and inviting decor in comparison to traditional full-service sit-down restaurants. This new niche, which is gaining huge popularity in New Jersey, is evidenced by the number of new or expanding fast casual restaurants popping-up in most major markets.
“The recession has trimmed the amount of dining dollars that people have to spend to go out and eat,” said President Chuck Lanyard of The Goldstein Group, the leading provider of retail brokerage services in New Jersey, which itself represents several fast casual restaurants such as Smashburger, Noodles & Company and Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill. “But people in New Jersey love to dine out making fast casual restaurants attractive to their palettes and their wallet. We are finding and leasing new restaurant locations on behalf of our fast casual clients at an explosive pace, especially over the past 12 months, with several new fast casual clients also looking to enter into the lucrative New Jersey marketplace for the first time.”
According to the online magazine, fastcasual.com, the fast casual restaurant segment has only been around for 20 years and already is experiencing $40 billion in sales annually. Fast casual restaurants have seen client traffic soar, on average, 6 percent over the last three years, compared to a 1 percent decline for all other restaurant segments, according to The NPD Group, which conducts market research in the restaurant industry.
Recent new fast casual restaurant openings and proposed openings in New Jersey include Smashburger in Parsippany, Five Guys Burgers in Ramsey, Qdoba in Union, Pei Wei in Paramus, Pancheros Mexican Grill in Watchung and Bridgewater, and Potbelly in Paramus. Other fast casual restaurants aggressively “shopping around” for new locations include Garbanzo Mediterranean Grill, Noodles & Company, Corner Bakery, and Cheeburger Cheeburger. This growing trend seems only to be accelerating in the market and continues to be “fed” by the slow economic recovery. At this pace, diners can only expect more fast casual choices in New Jersey going into 2013.
“New Jersey’s strong demographics provide great opportunities for fast casual concepts to succeed. The continued success of such well known and established eateries such a Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Qdoba confirm that fast casual dining will continue to flourish in New Jersey,” continued Lanyard.
About The Goldstein Group
The Goldstein Group, New Jersey’s leading full-service commercial real estate brokerage firm, specializes in owner representation, retailer representation, investment sales and management services. The firm, founded in 1986, represents over 12,000,000 square feet of retail space and more than 50 national and regional retailers. The Company is the New Jersey member of the Retail Brokers Network. As an RBN affiliate, The Goldstein Group provides clients assistance throughout the United States with qualified retail specialists in over 60 offices nationwide.
For more information on the Retail Brokers Network, visit www.retailbrokersnetwork.com.
For more information, contact Chuck Lanyard, president and director of brokerage services, at 201-703-9700, or visit the Company’s website at www.thegoldsteingroup.com.