Are we oversaturated with restaurants?

Don't Waste Your Money
Posted at 6:17 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-23 13:15:06-04

Restaurant chains are struggling.

Romano's Macaroni Grill has just filed bankruptcy, though its Cincinnati locations have already closed. This follows Applebees and TGI Fridays closing more than 100 locations each.

And Dunkin Donuts' CEO has just said America has "too many restaurants," according to a report in Business Insider.

Lisa Brahm, having lunch in the Rookwood area of Norwood, says she hopes things don't get worse.

"There comes a point where there is over saturation, but being a person who is originally from the Philadelphia area, and coming to Cincinnati, it is lovely the variety of the food."

But can Rookwood really support almost a dozen restaurants, including Bravo, Capitol Grill, Seasons, Buca di Beppo, and PF Chang's?

Max and Irma's closed its Rookwood location a year ago.

Perfect storm hitting chain restaurants

A report in calls this the "perfect storm" of trouble facing the restaurant industry, and claims "a bubble is about to burst."

It says there is a combination of too many places to eat combined with home delivery, which brings in less profit.

Food delivery services like Uber Eats and  53TCourier -- Ian Bolling's downtown Cincinnati bicycle service -- are now bringing food to millennials all day and all evening.

"I think they are less likely to cook in their own home, so when they are not out, a lot more millennials lean on delivery and pickup," Bolling said.

But Joe Creighton, who owns Cheapside Cafe in downtown Cincinnati and Mecca OTR, said not so fast. He said you can't replicate the dining out experience at home.

"The smells, the music, the sounds," are something that delivery cannot bring you, he said. "You're here at table that was remade from Champion's paper mill in Hamilton, Ohio, and basically all the wood in here comes from there. You can't get that sitting on your couch."

Creighton said as long as people need to get together, there will be a need  for casual restaurants.

And he said in Downtown, more restaurants mean more diners, and creates a critical mass, which helps everyone.

As always, don't waste your money.


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