The Inland Empire – which had seen a surge in new retail stores and restaurants before the pandemic – is making it through the pandemic. Restaurant tenants are finding creative techniques to drive business forward, work closely with local communities, and restructure leases to help weather the pandemic. Still, according to a recent report by JLLThe leasing rates have decreased compared to 2019 and the vacancy rates are increasing.
"The Inland Empire is unique compared to other markets in Southern California because of the heat." Blake Kaplan, VP at JLL, tells GlobeSt.com. “They are working with Citys to provide temporary outdoor seating with tents / tarpaulins that cover the outdoor seating area and maximize revenue. Marketing is a challenge for many of these smaller businesses, but many special discounts, third party deliveries, and larger catering packages are common. "
For retailers looking to do business during the pandemic, Kaplan recommends restaurants relying on a variety of resources and thinking of new models. For example, Chili has introduced "It's Just Wings", a delivery concept. "Restaurants can continue to spread word of mouth, make it a weekly routine, order from there, buy catering packages, and post on social media platforms to support local businesses," says Kaplan.
While restaurants in the Inlande Empire weather the pandemic with no shutters, one cannot escape the effects of the pandemic. “The truth is that no tenant is unaffected by the long-term situations of COVID. Everyone had to develop / change their business plan to suit the customer, ”says Kaplan. "Drive-thru's are superb and have been during COVID. The future of restaurants will make having patio seating with a specific ambience a greater priority to avoid the horrific situations like COVID. This will be one." Be comfort where it was previously a luxury. "
Looking ahead, the schedule and speed of recovery is still unknown. "It's too early to know. Drive-thru users thrive this time as many have their own meals and want something quick and affordable," says Kaplan. Waiting in a 45-minute queue at Raising Canes / In N Out is not a problem right now as the regular customer has no plans, fried chicken seems to be on trend and is a concept that will continue to grow as it is affordable, tasty and easy for families to agree on . "