Tuesday, March 8, 2011

CRE Show Panel: Middle East Uprisings, Rising Oil Prices Impacting Nation’s Restaurant Business

ATLANTA, GA, Mar. 7, 2011 - Events taking place halfway across the world are making the wallets of local restaurateurs a little bit lighter.

While appearing on the “Commercial Real Estate Show,” Pierre Panos (top left photo) said he noticed a sudden drop in business when political protests in Egypt started in early February.

The CEO of QS America, which owns and operates the upscale Brookwood Grill, theorized that the protests raised oil prices leaving consumers with less money to spend on dining out.

“”People are extremely antsy and when they find that something has changed in the market they react almost instantaneously,” Panos told Commercial Real Estate Show host Michael Bull (lower left photo) during the episode that aired March 5.

 Panos also is founder of the Fresh 2 Order restaurant chain, which plans to have 50 locations across the country by 2015.

Harold Shumacher, president and managing broker of The Shumacher Group, echoed Panos’ thoughts. Shumacher noted that rising grocery and gas prices have cut into the budgets of potential customers.

“People have not changed the frequency of going out,” said Shumacher. “If they were going out three times a week they are still going out three times a week. What they have done is they’ve adjusted downward. So if you were a $15 customer, you are now a $10 customer.”

Shumacher said that slow and steady growth would be a key factor in the revival of the restaurant industry.

To hear the entire Restaurant Industry Focus show click here.

The next “Commercial Real Estate Show” will air March 12 and focus on the car wash and self-storage industries. Guests will include Jeff Lenard from the National Association of Convenience Stores; Nancy Miller of Bull Realty; and Jeff Sturges of Pentagon Car Wash Consulting.

Contact:  Midd Read, mread@wilbertnewsstrategies.com

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