Post-COVID restaurant analysis

2,977 Views | 24 Replies | Last: 17 days ago by AggieBaseball06
PS3D
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They say that 17% of all U.S. restaurants closed during COVID-19, but I think that the area fared fairly well by not losing very many, with even a few opening in the process (Masfajitas for example).

So from what I can gather, we lost the following restaurants permanently:
Abuelo's Mexican Food Embassy (may or may not be related to pandemic)
Applebee's
Fuddruckers
Red Lobster (allegedly temporarily, but I wouldn't bet on it)

Additionally, one hotel closed (Four Points by Sheraton).

If this is it (please correct me if I'm wrong), our area was spared the absolute bloodbath that hurt places like Houston and areas with bigger lockdowns (California, New York) with only a few chains lost.

(The bigger loss is 24 hour service in several other restaurants).
Gearman2112
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PPP loans helped a lot of them including lots of other businesses. Real challenge will be if they didn't use money the right way and the gov comes to collect.
cavscout96
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AG
I think all of those were gone [before COVID].

ratfacemcdougal
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I think I would have to agree that Applebee's, Fudd and Red Lobster were probably already on shaky ground. I thought I read that Applebee's had already shut down a number of stores.
legalbird
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Covid had little to do with most of these restaurants. It's easy to cite Covid as the problem, but location and/or management is typically the issue.

I chatted with one new restaurateur about employees handling garbage and then going straight to food counter to bring food to tables. Another restaurateur had a cashier that handled food as well. In both cases, the restaurateur defended his practices. It was sad to see the investment go to the trashcan, but in both cases, the restaurateur should have entered another type of business. Food service is not everyone and it is not a hobby.
TheOC16
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AG
Madden's in Bryan.
isitjustme
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AG
Areas with more restrictions saw more restaurants close.

Areas where people complied with the restrictions saw more restaurants close.

Areas where restrictions were lower, had no teeth, or where there are more freedom loving people saw fewer restaurants close.

Texas in general and BCS in particular fall into the latter category.
MiMi
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S
We also saw a couple of pivots - Veritas is now Solt, and Mad Taco (on Jane Street) is now Mad Melt. I'm not sure of the timing or if Covid-related, but Cafe Eccell is now Public&Main.
PS3D
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MiMi said:

We also saw a couple of pivots - Veritas is now Solt, and Mad Taco (on Jane Street) is now Mad Melt. I'm not sure of the timing or if Covid-related, but Cafe Eccell is now Public&Main.
If I recall, they were considering doing the revamp at some point and used the COVID closure to convert it.

Also, in terms of COVID-related closures, Subway's Southgate location closed (Google says "temporary" but the signage is gone, tax permit is expired, etc.). Sure it had been there almost 30 years but I'm not shedding any tears over it.
ShinerBlonde
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AG
One of the impacts I've noticed in the locally owned restaurants around here is the hours, and menus, still being limited a year into the pandemic. This Sunday around 11am we wanted to go to Papa Perez and drove downtown and they were closed on Sundays. Checked their FB page and they had posted recently that they couldn't find workers and wouldn't be able to go back to normal (pre-pandemic) days and hours until they could find more staff. So we went down to Blackwater Draw for brunch and they only had 2 brunch items and their regular lunch/small bites menu. I asked about why the full brunch menu wasn't available anymore and I was told they just weren't busy enough and had too much food waste so they cut back on the offerings. I also noticed a post on the Mad Melt page recently that they have not been doing the business they hoped they would be with the new sandwich concept replacing the tacos. I like all of these places and hope their business picks up soon and they can find employees.
halibut sinclair
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Workers are hard to find due to stimulus payments and extra unemployment.
AggieBaseball06
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AG
Smallcakes closed during Christmas break and never reopened.
montegobay
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I don't understand restaurants closed on Sundays. Makes no sense to me. Mad Taco is closed on Sunday and Monday. Shortage in staff is one thing, but staying closed on a busy day to eat out seems counterproductive.
joho
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I feel like customer service has also taken a nosedive this past year (from my anecdotal viewpoint).

Staffing is challenging already in a college town without extenuating circumstances... I'm sympathetic having worked in the food industry... but I've had some very awful outings and seen others described on TexAgs too.
cavscout96
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AG
montegobay said:

I don't understand restaurants closed on Sundays. Makes no sense to me. Mad Taco is closed on Sunday and Monday. Shortage in staff is one thing, but staying closed on a busy day to eat out seems counterproductive.
Chick-fil-A says "Hi."
Slawster
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Mad Melt was horribly disappointing the one and only time I went. The food tasted great. But the portion sizes were almost unbelievably small. If they gave you 3 of those little dinky sandwiches for the same price then it would be worth the money.
LOYAL AG
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AG
Gearman2112 said:

PPP loans helped a lot of them including lots of other businesses. Real challenge will be if they didn't use money the right way and the gov comes to collect.
The vast majority of PPP loans for locally owned restaurants are going to be forgiven without documentation or review. That was in the 12/27 relief act that was passed. Why? Simple math. In a normal year the SBA makes about 67K loans total. There were 5.5 MILLION PPP loans made. That doesn't count PPP2, by the way. It was apparent nearly immediately that they would not be able to scrutinize at all the "small" loans and that something had to give. Eventually they settled on asking Congress to rubber stamp forgiveness for loans under $150K which covers 85% of loans and is going to cover virtually all local restaurants and retail establishments.
313-7-12thMan
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A local place to hang out on a weekend and maybe enjoy a patio or cocktail is not the same as a fast food place.
FlyRod
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Ronin has a patio and cocktails, and open Sunday but only for brunch.
BMo
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How is OMG Seafood these days?
Mr.Short-termMemory
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AG
montegobay said:

I don't understand restaurants closed on Sundays. Makes no sense to me. Mad Taco is closed on Sunday and Monday. Shortage in staff is one thing, but staying closed on a busy day to eat out seems counterproductive.
I understand the thought, but if it was a busy day for them, they'd likely be open. For them, likely counterproductive to be open when there is not enough customers to justify the cost.
Bucketrunner
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Horrible, as always
BMo
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Bucketrunner said:

Horrible, as always
What changed? They use to get rave reviews here.
Bucketrunner
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Every time we've tried (3), it tastes like the boiled shrimp were cooked the night before. Can't speak to the crawfish.
AggieBaseball06
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AG
montegobay said:

I don't understand restaurants closed on Sundays. Makes no sense to me. Mad Taco is closed on Sunday and Monday. Shortage in staff is one thing, but staying closed on a busy day to eat out seems counterproductive.


I have managed 2 restaurants and a bar in this town and Sunday is not a busy day. Lunch after church, especially on a game weekend or during graduation, can get busy but then things die and rarely pick up again.
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