A neighborhood is an ecosystem of sorts, a nexus of connections between residents, businesses, their employees, and public services that ideally adds up to a functional, positive vibe.
In 2017, maintaining this delicate balance is a bit different from bygone eras. More socializing and shopping happens online than ever before. And that's not necessarily a bad thing! It simply means a vibrant neighborhood needs businesses that specifically attract the modern in-person consumer of today.
That puts restaurants at the center of any bustling modern neighborhood. Here are three ways restaurants serve an important role in a neighborhood:
- Everybody needs to eat! It takes a truly special bookstore or clothing boutique to compete with online commerce. Restaurants avoid that layer of competition entirely, as they're very much about getting a fresh, hot meal made to order. Today, restaurants are the primary driver of foot traffic, serving as the main show that brings people into the neighborhood and supports the businesses that once filled the role of driving customers into nearby restaurants.
- Social media spotlights, rather than undermines, restaurants. While most internet content pulls users towards buying products online, services like Google and especially Yelp actually bring people to even out-of-the-way spots if the food and service is known for its quality.
- Restaurants grow the local economy. A good restaurant brings in new diners, gives residents a reason to move nearby, and provides steady jobs in several hospitality and maintenance categories. At Waiter Wallet, we work closely with restaurant industry professionals, from owners to managers to servers, and see first hand the economic impact a new restaurant has on a neighborhood.
As diners and chefs alike become more adventurous, restaurants increasingly fill out the gap that, for a time, was worryingly left unfilled in the transition to online retail. Urban and small town neighborhoods across the country are enjoying an amazing resurgence, largely thanks to great new restaurants from high-quality casual to buzz-worthy fine dining.