'Eatertainment' dining niche doing well after pandemic: industry expert

ax in target
ax-throwing Photo credit Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — After COVID-19, customers are returning to restaurants, but one local industry analyst says diners want more than just food.

Izzy Kharasch, president of Hospitality Works in Chicago, told the WBBM Noon Business Hour that people are looking for experiences. As a result, he said restaurants that have bowling alleys, bocce ball courts and other distractions are doing quite well.

These venues are sometimes referred to as “eatertainment.”

"Before the pandemic you started to see what they called social clubs coming on to the market, where you could eat and bowl. I've even seen where you can eat, bowl, and throw axes," Kharasch said Wednesday.

Some customers may want to shake off their pandemic rust. But he added that a number of so-called experiential restaurant patrons are trying to find a low-cost alternative to high gas prices.
A trip to a restaurant-bowling alley is cheaper than a road trip.

"They're going to stay local, and they are going to places that have full entertainment," Kharasch said.

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