Blog Post

Ryan Johnson: Restaurant Trends and DFW’s Retail Market

Ryan Johnson
Senior Vice President
Dallas/Ft. Worth

This piece was written by Ryan Johnson for D Real Estate Daily. Texas is known for many things: the Dallas Cowboys, Tex-Mex, the Alamo, Big Tex, Friday Night Football, big hair–the list goes on and on. But Texas is also known for its love of food. And although Dallas-Fort Worth may not have as many people as New York City, it boasts more restaurants per capita. The DFW restaurant real estate market is one of the most competitive in the country. Our growing population, diverse economy, impressive job growth, and limited new construction all feed the fire. This fierce level of competition extends across all restaurant categories–quick-service, fast-casual concepts, casual dining, and fine dining. So how are restaurants getting ahead of their competitors? Many DFW restaurateurs have embraced scratch food and farm-to-table trends. And I’m a fan. Many of the area’s most popular upscale casual dining restaurant spots—such as Whiskey Cake, Neighborhood Services, R+D Kitchen, Stock & Barrel, Boulevardier, Oak, and Stampede 66—are champions of these movements. Their success has caused fast-casual concepts to take notice. Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Spin Pizza, Grub Burger Bar, Snappy Salads, Salata, Southpaws, and First Watch all focus on fresh food prepared from scratch. Zoe’s, Corner Bakery, and even Chipotle have a huge head start on capturing market share. Eateries that offer reasonably priced, fresh food—prepared quickly—have seemed to have found the winning formula. So while our reputation for good Tex-Mex, hamburgers, steakhouses, and barbecue may not be going anywhere, it’s clear that our restaurant market is expanding to include a new dynamic. And I, for one, am enjoying the trend.

Ryan Johnson is the vice president of SRS Real Estate Partners. Contact him at