The Sustained Popularity of “Eatertainment” in the Post-Pandemic Era

The restaurant industry has witnessed a remarkable surge in eatertainment concepts in the wake of the pandemic. These last two years have given rise to various dining establishments, each prioritizing enjoyment and amusement. Often referred to as the “experience economy,” this trend caters to the public’s craving for distinctive and immersive dining encounters. From classic pastimes like bowling and shuffleboard to novel attractions such as cricket, surfing, and even curling, this fresh wave of eatertainment is reshaping the restaurant landscape.

The Rise of Eatertainment

Interest in eatertainment concepts has grown significantly since the second half of 2022, outperforming other segments in visits year-over-year. According to traffic tracker Placer.ai, visits to eatertainment concepts in January 2023 were up more than 20%, while other segments struggled to see traffic growth of over 5% that month. This phenomenon has driven investors, seasoned operators, and restaurant entrepreneurs to recognize the immense potential in this evolving industry.

Why Eatertainment Is Thriving

The sustained popularity of eatertainment can be attributed to several factors:

  • Changing Consumer Preferences: Modern generations have an appetite for experiences and are willing to spend more on dining when combined with entertainment.
  • Lower Labor Costs: Compared to traditional casual dining, eatertainment venues often have lower labor costs. The amusement side of these concepts can be highly profitable.
  • Diverse Offerings: The diversity of activities, from classic games to niche sports and technology-driven experiences, appeals to a broad range of customers.
  • Unique Dining Experiences: Combining dining with interactive and memorable experiences creates a unique value proposition that sets eatertainment concepts apart from traditional restaurants.

As the restaurant industry continues to evolve, eatertainment has emerged as a prominent trend, catering to the desires of a new generation seeking unique and engaging dining experiences. Investors, entrepreneurs, and established brands are capitalizing on the growing demand for social entertainment. Eatertainment is reshaping the restaurant landscape through technology-driven activities, innovative sports, or themed dining experiences. To thrive in this competitive market, restaurant owners must consider the changing preferences of their audience, embrace technology, and offer unforgettable dining experiences that resonate with the ever-evolving needs of their customers.

EMERGING Fund: A Chicago-based venture capital fund focusing on social entertainment actively seeks investment opportunities in small, experiential brands. Specifically emphasizing restaurant technology and the vibrant world of eatertainment, this fund is at the forefront of a rapidly evolving industry.

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