Two fast-casual restaurant chains with little presence on Long Island plan to take bigger portions of local business.
Qdoba Mexican Eats and farm-to-table eatery B.Good, along with a new AT&T store, will be new tenants in the fourth and last building being constructed at a retail development in the 1000 block of Broadhollow Road, also known as Route 110, in Farmingdale, said Jonathan Cohen, a principal at Blumenfeld Development Group, the Syosset-based real estate firm behind the project.
The 11,000-square-foot building’s exterior construction should be finished by Dec. 1, he said.
“At which point, our tenants will start construction for their interior buildings,” said Cohen, who said the businesses will open in the first quarter of 2020. There is still 3,500 square feet remaining to be leased in the building, he said.
The four-building retail development is on an 11-acre site unofficially referred to as SkyDrive because it is on the site of the former Skydrive Golf Center, which was demolished in summer 2017, Cohen said.
The retail project will have 100,000 square feet of retail space when the development is complete.
Qdoba, B.Good and AT&T will join the three existing tenants on the property — a Floor & Decor store, LongHorn Steakhouse and fast-food chicken eatery PDQ, all of which have opened in new buildings since fall 2018. They are adjacent to a 6-acre property, also owned by Blumenfeld, that has held a Regal United Artists movie theater and Starbucks since 2002.
It’s notable that, except for the AT&T store, the existing and coming SkyDrive tenants have little or no presence on Long Island, which might give them a better chance at success because the market isn’t oversaturated.
For example, the Floor & Decor and PDQ locations in SkyDrive were those chains’ first locations in New York state when they opened in November and July, respectively.
The closest LongHorn Steakhouse was in Queens before the Farmingdale restaurant opened November.
And there are only two Qdobas on Long Island, one of which opened Wednesday in Plainview.
B.Good has one other Long Island location, which it opened in Garden City in August 2017.
Too much, too fast?
So, what’s up with B.Good and Qdoba?
Here’s the rundown:
Founded in 2003, B.Good “aims to serve great-tasting food that people can feel good about eating,” said a representative for the Boston-based chain, which has 65 locations in 13 states throughout the Northeast, Midwest and South.
“We partner with local farms and producers as much as possible,” said the representative, who said the company could not say what percentage of food is locally sourced “since it varies so drastically by region, by season and by year.”
B.Good is a fast-growing operator doing about $63.3 million in sales, which were up 27 percent last year on a 17 percent increase in its number of restaurants, said David Henkes, senior principal at Technomic Inc., a restaurant industry research firm in Chicago.
Qdoba is a different story.
The San Diego-based chain of Mexican fast-casual restaurants has seen a sales slowdown systemwide, and locations have been closing.
But its Long Island franchisee, Burger Brothers Restaurant Group in Port Washington, obviously has set its sights on growth with the opening of the Plainview location Wednesday and the planned Farmingdale location.
Burger Brothers Restaurant Group, which did not return a call for comment, is also the franchisee for Qdoba’s East Meadow location and two others in Brooklyn and Queens.
Qdoba's systemwide sales increased 1.6 percent last year compared to average growth of more than 7 percent over the past five years, Henkes said.
“Sometimes chains grow too fast and need to refocus efforts on building same-store sales and focusing on the existing business,” he said.
In May 2018, Qdoba reported having more than 740 restaurants in the United States and Canada, compared to about 700 now.
Qdoba closed all four of its Rochester-area restaurants this year, as well as three others in Western New York — in Tonawanda, Cheektowaga and Niagara Falls, according to media reports.
Founded in 1995, Qdoba was acquired by Jack in the Box in 2003 and sold in 2018 to Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm, for $305 million.
“I think Apollo will be much more focused on getting the business back into growth mode,” Henkes said.
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