Why the CEO of Fransmart believes 2021 will be a 'gold rush' for new restaurant concepts in New York City

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Dan Rowe sees a lot of opportunity in the market for new restaurant concepts ready to sign leases, with deals available on rent and Covid-19 vaccine distribution underway.

Rowe is the founder and CEO of Fransmart, a franchise development company based in the D.C. area. He's worked with brands like Five Guys Burgers & Fries, Qdoba Mexican Grill, and The Halal Guys. Rowe is also a board member of the National Restaurant Association.

Here in New York City, he's been working with restaurateur Stratis Morfogen on franchising Brooklyn Dumpling Shop, a concept where customers can order dumplings on their smartphones and pick them up at the store without human interaction.

Rowe and I recently spoke about his outlook for restaurants in 2021 and beyond.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

What concepts do you think will take off this year?

You're going to see a lot more new emerging young brands becoming national players because nowadays just through a savvy social media concept, [you can become] famous all around the world. I think you're going to keep seeing this atrophy with old, tired brands. You're going to see this new crop of brands that are going to open up that are going to be hip and relevant.

It's basically this killer dumpling concept. You order them on your phone, they're going to be cooked, and then you come in and grab it. They're going to be in an automat.

They'll do $1.5 million to $2 million out of 500 square feet.

It's going to make customers feel smart and safe about using them. [The founder is] even allocating space in his automats for Uber Eats, Grubhub and those guys. He's engineering his concept from the beginning to be friendly for these third-party delivery guys.

You'll see these brand new, young companies starting to pop up.


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