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By Max Swerdloff

In 2016 when people mentioned New York City Retail you may have heard the words “Too many Vacancies”, or “Expensive Rents”, but many fast casual restaurants were able to knock 2016 out of the park.  From Poke to fried chicken sandwiches operators were able to lease unbelievably successful locations. 

One thing that really shocked a lot of people was a fast casual restaurant without employee interactions with the customers.  The process is fully automated, from placing your order on an iPad, to robots putting together the food and your bowl magically appearing in a cubby.  

These fast casual restaurants have a much smaller footprint than a traditional full-service restaurant, ranging from about 1,000 to 2,500 square feet.  This allows for the operator to pay for a more desirable location on a per square foot basis and have a lower overhead cost.

The final component of the fast casual trend is quality ingredients and healthy options.  With New Yorkers becoming more health conscious each day, everyone loves locally sourced products or a crisp bowl of vegetables from Sweetgreen.  We do not see this trend hitting any speed bumps.  With new concepts opening and current concepts making renovations we have noticed ingredients being boasted on chalkboard, local business’s being supported by national tenants like Shake Shack and minimalistic