- Breweries – surprisingly Charlotte has more than Oregon. About 27 in operation in Charlotte with 20 more planned. This is leading to craft distilleries, which doesn’t take as much as space
- Restaurant-owned gardens and farms – farm to table
- Demographics – higher percentage of millennials in Charlotte (compared to National and State averages). They dine out frequently, want the experience, eat fast food (even though they don’t adminit it), want a visual experience with their food (post to snap chat)
- Natural ingredients
- Agri-hoods – food can drive change; experiential retail
- Experiential retail – Instagram and snap chat
- Food can drive change to neighborhoods. 2009 was pivotal in the way we have done the food business. One example is the reuse of buildings.
- Charleston, have they reached restaurant saturation? New concept which has six-month leases with rotation of restaurants. Oku in Charlotte is busier than the other 2 owned. Opening Oak Steak House, working to provide a unique experience in each location each location having its own chefs – wants sense of authenticity for city. Experiential is the buzz word.
- Steve Palmer – 400+ restaurants opened in Atlanta last year. Believes there are still opportunities in Charlotte. We need to engage with higher level of service and hospitality – human connection is important. Make the customer feel special. We focus on staff, customer, community, suppliers and investors, in that order.
- Jim Noble – hospitality is about differentiation. Restaurants are beginning to work together. Real estate is thinking more about the space for restaurants. Community brings people together – escape some of the crazy world. Keys to success – manage craft (cook); manage money; manage people. When the tide rises – all ships rise with it.
- How do you bridge the gap between the startup restauranteurs and the underwriting for funding? You need to give the restaurant a break if you building restaurant first before rooftops.
- Prediction – all the mid-level restaurants are decreasing. Avalon in Atlanta is an interesting case study bringing in urban to suburban.
- Key to providing the right food experience – AUTHENTICITY – character, good bones. What is the “feel”?
- Right concept – right neighborhood.
- Grab and go – Noble working on in Roosters location similar concept.