As we previously stated in Part 3, Commercial Real Estate (CRE) is the third largest asset class to invest in, after stocks and bonds, and based on the varieties of Asset Classes to be found, it is easy to see why there are numerous entry points into the market.

We will continue to discuss some of the other Key Asset Classes, particularly Leisure, which includes:

  • Hotels (See Part 4), Restaurants, Self-Storage, and Special Purpose and other nonresidential properties.


Restaurants are classified into categories based on the availability of customer seating, the type and quality of the service (self or wait staff), the atmosphere, and the price range.

There are 5 types of Restaurants:

  1. Fast Food Restaurants specialize in speedy service. They offer limited menus that are prepared quickly, and food is ordered at the front counter, an electronic terminal or drive-thru window.  Diners normally carry their food to a table of their choice or as take out.  Fast food restaurants are known in the restaurant industry as QSRs (quick-service restaurants).  QSRs range from small-scale street vendors with food carts and food trucks, to worldwide franchises, such as:
    • McDonald’s
    • KFC, and
    • Subway
  2. Fast Casual Restaurants are mainly chain restaurants, where more of the food is prepared at the restaurant than at fast food restaurants. Fast casual restaurants do not offer full table service, but many offer non-disposable plates and cutlery.  The quality of the food and prices tend to be higher than those of a fast food restaurant, but lower than casual dining.  Examples:
    • Chipotle Mexican Grill
    • Panera Bread, and
    • Zaxby’s
  3. Casual Dining Restaurants serve moderately-priced food in a casual atmosphere, and typically provide table service.  Casual dining covers a market section between Fast Food and Family Style restaurants. Casual dining restaurants often have a full bar with a separate staff, a larger beer menu and a limited wine menu.  They include such restaurants as:
    • BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse
    • Outback Steakhouse, and
    • Olive Garden
  4. Family Style Restaurants are a type of casual dining restaurant where food may be served on platters and/or the diners serve themselves. The difference between Casual Dining and Family Style is that there is no alcohol served.  Included are restaurants like:
    • Bob Evans
    • Cracker Barrel
    • Golden Corral
  5. Fine Dining Restaurants are full service restaurants with wait staff and dedicated meal courses.  The decor features higher-quality ambience and table settings.  And while some restaurants require guests to follow a dress code (dinner jackets and cocktail dresses), most dress codes have vanished as “Upscale Casual” blurs the lines between Fine Dining and other restaurants.  These Fine Dining or Upscale Casual Restaurants include:
    • Bonefish Grill
    • Seasons 52, and
    • The Capital Grille

Please be sure to check out Self-Storage, Special Purpose and other nonresidential properties in our next installment, Part 6, as we wrap up our Leisure section, and move on to other Key Asset Classes.

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