Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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214 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 Like many fast casual chains, VertsKe- bap closely studies demographics when choosing new restaurant locations. The site selection criterion includes high- income areas in nicer, newer shopping centers. Often, VertsKebap seeks out gro- cery-anchored shopping centers because customers tend to visit grocery stores multiple times per week. Fast casual res- taurants also perform well in mixed-use developments. It's important for fast casual restaurants to have easy access to parking, as well as convenient ingress and egress, because customers are still looking to get in and out of the restaurant quickly. "At Newk's Eatery we serve some of the most unique, best tasting food in the fast casual category," says Cheek. "But we're still a convenience play, not a destination. People don't typically drive 20 miles go visit a fast casual restaurant for their 15th anniversary." Newk's Eatery generates 70 percent of its business during lunch and 30 percent during dinner. The restaurant is not open for breakfast. The Salad King Berge Simonian is the founder and president of Salata, a salad-based con- cept headquartered in Houston. Simo- nian opened his first restaurant in 1988, which was unsuccessful because he did not have enough experience in the indus- try. Simonian opened another in 1994, and over the years began noticing the line for salads getting longer and longer. In 2005, the first Salata location opened in downtown Houston. The company now operates 42 loca- tions in Houston, Austin, Dallas, Los An- geles and Chicago, and plans to expand to Phoenix soon. Salata manufactures 18 products in-house, including 10 dress- ings, three soups and five sauces, which Simonian says is key to its success. The company's locations in downtown areas range from 750 to 1,800 square feet, while suburban locations range from 1,800 to 4,000 square feet. Salata is one of several fast casual concepts that offers customization of its products. Patrons choose their own salad ingredients inside the restaurant and the price does not change no matter how many toppings are chosen. "Customers want transparency, they want to see their food," says Simonian. "They want to create and build the dish they will eat." Cincinnati-based Tom+Chee is another expanding fast casual restaurant chain of- fering customization. The restaurant was founded in 2010 and boasts 24 locations, but the founders hope to total 55 locations by the end of this year. It's target demo- graphic ranges from 18 to 44. "We're opening about one new restau- rant per week right now," says Marty Boy- er, director of marketing for Tom+Chee. The first Tom+Chee in Texas is sched- Salata is a salad-based concept headquartered in Houston. It is one of several fast casual concepts that offers customization of its products. Where Retailers & Developers Converge HOFFMAN ESTATES 847-781-2662 Booth N2335V Visit our Booth at

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