View Full Version : Restaurant Concern?



bucktalk
03-22-2017, 11:03 AM
I absolutely LOVE all the new 'non-chain' restaurants OKC which have taken a financial risk to open up their new places. I know the financial investment in getting a restaurant up and running is very high. While I haven't eaten at all of them - I will eventually because I want to support them when I can. But I worry if so many new places is OKC getting close to saturation? I'm concerned with so many new places will they have enough business, due to competition, to keep their doors open?

Fingers crossed the new restaurants can thrive!

bchris02
03-22-2017, 11:09 AM
I absolutely LOVE all the new 'non-chain' restaurants OKC which have taken a financial risk to open up their new places. I know the financial investment in getting a restaurant up and running is very high. While I haven't eaten at all of them - I will eventually because I want to support them when I can. But I worry if so many new places is OKC getting close to saturation? I'm concerned with so many new places will they have enough business, due to competition, to keep their doors open?

Fingers crossed the new restaurants can thrive!

Some of them will not make it but others will. Most of the new restaurants, at least downtown, are concepts that previously couldn't be found in OKC. What we are finally seeing today is critical mass in our urban districts...something OKC has needed for a long time. I think the ones that are more in danger are the mediocre has-been restaurants/bars that were once very popular but have been left behind by the bar/restaurant boom. I am thinking specifically places like 51st Street Speakeasy, which was once one of the most popular bars in OKC but tends to get forgotten about today. I also think chains are at risk especially downtown and we have already seen some of this with Hooter's and Spaghetti Warehouse closing.

Anonymous.
03-22-2017, 12:53 PM
Hi bchris, I don't know when the last time you went. But like you and I both know - even 3-5 years ago, 51 Speakeasy was the "it bar" with it being packed every Friday and Saturday.

Well I went there for the first time in 3 years in 2016 and it was totally dead. I am talking not-even-a-bouncer dead. Thinking it was just an off-night I went again later in the summer and it was the same story.

Fast forward to 2 months ago, and I tried it once more - the place was jamming. It was like I fell into a time machine back to 2012. I have actually gone again a few weeks ago and it was packed yet again.

So I think the place is actually going through a resurgence of some sort, perhaps not to the prime days, but it is definitely getting more traction as of late.

Pete
03-22-2017, 01:40 PM
Yep, after the change in ownership The Speak has been very busy the times I've been in.


As to the over-saturation question, there is always room for a new place that does things right.

But that can also mean forcing the issue with those that are struggling to get by.

Considering the avalanche of new openings in just the last few years, I'm surprised there have not been more closings. But I think that is going to change and that's not necessarily a bad thing as it forces operators to do a better job.

And closures are a big part of the restaurant and bar biz.

Teo9969
03-22-2017, 02:18 PM
Unfortunately corporate places are not going to just go around volunteering all sorts of information, but it would be great to know how the Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters, Outbacks, etc. are doing around the city. I can't think of many chains that have made expansions in the metro consistent with the metro's overall growth.

Beyond that, I feel like in the past so much money would just fly away to other markets because people went on weekend trips to enjoy something delicious in nearby markets. I get the sense that a lot of people who 5+ years ago spent a lot of money out of market stay in town and spend money in the city...to say nothing of the actual growth of population and economy we've experienced as a city.

I don't see much of a reason why a substantial percentage of restaurants that have opened in the last 5 years would need to close until something bigger and better comes along, but I think a lot of what has been developed recently really is just filling in what used to be a massive hole.

bucktalk
03-22-2017, 04:47 PM
I know it takes local people/workers to work in chain type restaurants but if any restaurant had to close I'd prefer it to be a chain establishment. I was self employed for 20 years I know a little about how difficult it can be to make it in business. Therefore I applaud, urge, defend and support local business as much as I can. I truly wish all local restaurants success!

pure
03-22-2017, 05:00 PM
I think the ones that are part of a restaurant group like Hal Smith, Good Egg, & McNellie's Group will do just fine. I also didn't realize until recently that 90% of my favorite restaurants in the metro are from those three groups alone. They all do such a good job at feeling very local despite getting bigger and bigger each day.

Pete
03-22-2017, 06:06 PM
Speaking of Hal Smith, I met some friends at Upper Crust in Classen Curve last night and the service there is just fantastic, as it has been every other time and virtually every visit to a HSRG operation.

They just do a super professional job and stand out more and more in this town. Good Egg is excellent as well.

The talent pool elsewhere is spread very thin and it really shows.

sooner88
03-22-2017, 06:40 PM
Speaking of Hal Smith, I met some friends at Upper Crust in Classen Curve last night and the service there is just fantastic, as it has been every other time and virtually every visit to a HSRG operation.

They just do a super professional job and stand out more and more in this town. Good Egg is excellent as well.

The talent pool elsewhere is spread very thin and it really shows.

^ Yep. We went to Red Prime last weekend for the first time in almost 2 years, and our server was one of our favorites we have had dining out pretty much anywhere lately. The food and updated interior were both excellent as well.

bchris02
03-22-2017, 06:53 PM
Unfortunately corporate places are not going to just go around volunteering all sorts of information, but it would be great to know how the Olive Gardens, Red Lobsters, Outbacks, etc. are doing around the city. I can't think of many chains that have made expansions in the metro consistent with the metro's overall growth.

Beyond that, I feel like in the past so much money would just fly away to other markets because people went on weekend trips to enjoy something delicious in nearby markets. I get the sense that a lot of people who 5+ years ago spent a lot of money out of market stay in town and spend money in the city...to say nothing of the actual growth of population and economy we've experienced as a city.

I don't see much of a reason why a substantial percentage of restaurants that have opened in the last 5 years would need to close until something bigger and better comes along, but I think a lot of what has been developed recently really is just filling in what used to be a massive hole.

I agree with this. Most of these new establishments that are opening are the kind of things people used to drive to Dallas for a few years ago. They aren't really competing with strong, established restaurants but are filling an unfilled niche in this market. There will be some closings...that is the nature of the business, but usually when a local restaurant closes, its because they have failed to adapt and keep up. There are a few of the newer establishments that I have questions as to whether or not they will last, but most of them are top notch.

As for the big mid-level chains (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc), the trend has been away from them for a while now at the national level, since at least the late 2000s. The sought-after chains are the upscale ones like McCormick and Schmick's, which is something that would be nice to eventually see come to OKC. I do think the chain restaurants in OKC, being concentrated on Memorial Rd, I-240, Edmond, and Moore probably aren't struggling too bad.

Celebrator
03-22-2017, 10:24 PM
As for the big mid-level chains (Olive Garden, Red Lobster, etc), the trend has been away from them for a while now at the national level, since at least the late 2000s. The sought-after chains are the upscale ones like McCormick and Schmick's, which is something that would be nice to eventually see come to OKC. I do think the chain restaurants in OKC, being concentrated on Memorial Rd, I-240, Edmond, and Moore probably aren't struggling too bad.

And I went to one of them a couple of weeks ago because a family member had a gift card. So, so bad. I felt like I was eating airplane food. Very grateful we don't have to eat a chains because there are SO many good local options here. It was weird even going to one. We used to have to down in Orlando all the time when we lived there because, outside the theme parks, they dominate the landscape on the SW side of town. Anyway, we are blessed to have such a diverse and high quality local dining scene here.

Pete
03-23-2017, 06:28 AM
If you look at the restaurant expansion in OKC, the huge majority comes from local and regional places.

It seems the big national chains are on the wane everywhere. When you think of new restaurants in the area, you don't see many new Chili's, Olive Gardens and Outbacks but do see lots of new-to-market regional chains and tons of locals.

The one exception seems to be Buffalo Wild Wings but even there, that is through local franchisees.

Pete
03-23-2017, 06:34 AM
BTW, Hal Smith is up to 42 restaurants in the OKC area, not counting Ted's (9 more) which is held in a different group:

Upper Crust 2
Louie's 11
Mahogany 2
Toby Keith 1
Hollie's 2
Red Rock 2
Hefner Grill 1
Pub W 3
Mama Roja 1
Garage 10
Legacy Grill 1
Charleston's 6

Total: 42

traxx
03-23-2017, 07:38 AM
I've noticed more Chili's and Applebee's and such in smaller cities and towns. Not a bad idea for them. It helps keep them afloat as their market share is eroded in larger cities.

BLJR
03-23-2017, 07:51 AM
I think the ones that are part of a restaurant group like Hal Smith, Good Egg, & McNellie's Group will do just fine. I also didn't realize until recently that 90% of my favorite restaurants in the metro are from those three groups alone. They all do such a good job at feeling very local despite getting bigger and bigger each day.

These places do good in my opinion because they are connected to the local market, and they stay connected. While some national chain locations will be fine (we go to Outback in Norman pretty regularly), I have to think that they are losing ground overall. The other factor is these meals delivered to your door type of things. My wife started subscribing to Blue Apron about 4 months ago. My initial thought was that this was the dumbest concept ever. 4 months later, and we love it. It gets the entire family in there and involved prepping and cooking, and then we all sit down together and eat it. Its $70 for 2 meals for 4 people, but by the time we go out and eat somewhere, we are about that price anyway, if not a little more.

FighttheGoodFight
03-23-2017, 07:56 AM
These places do good in my opinion because they are connected to the local market, and they stay connected. While some national chain locations will be fine (we go to Outback in Norman pretty regularly), I have to think that they are losing ground overall. The other factor is these meals delivered to your door type of things. My wife started subscribing to Blue Apron about 4 months ago. My initial thought was that this was the dumbest concept ever. 4 months later, and we love it. It gets the entire family in there and involved prepping and cooking, and then we all sit down together and eat it. Its $70 for 2 meals for 4 people, but by the time we go out and eat somewhere, we are about that price anyway, if not a little more.

Try out homechef. I ended up liking them more. About the same price.