Chain Restaurants that Survived and Continue to Thrive through COVID-19 by Kevin Sanz, CCIM, MSIRE

Posted on February 23, 2021

Despite the wreckage of restaurants shuttered in the wake of the pandemic, many well-known quick-serve and fast-casual brands have been able to survive and even thrive through the uncertainty of the past year. As a testament to their agility and resiliency, chain including Chipotle, McDonalds and Papa Johns were able to record sales growth over the past year and even dole out year-end bonuses to their frontline workers. One factor that contributed to these positive results is the typical footprints of these stores. Their locations in strip shopping centers and free-standing buildings made it made it easier to adapt existing space to new normal, introducing outdoor seating and walk-up windows while ramping up drive-through services, mobile ordering and contactless curbside pick-up at a time when large dining rooms were forced to close or limit seating. While the National Restaurant Association reported that 17 percent of U.S. restaurants closed due to the pandemic, fast-casual and quick-serve chains can be critical, positive cash-flow components of income producing commercial property investments.

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