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Nate99

Fast Food Places Downtown

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The Whataburger joke in the 609 Main thread got me thinking about why we do not see more fast food places downtown. I personally don’t care for their food much, but they seem successful pretty much everywhere (else).

 

Are the economics on these places so tight that they need high volume for 3 meals a day? I also understand that the franchisees often end up on the hook for rent back to the parent company that structures the deals for them more like a property investment than a restaurant investment. I can see how that wouldn’t jive well with tunnel slots and street level stuff.

 

I also recall a conversation with the operator of the Burger King that was in the Houston Club building. He mentioned how the homeless folks were running him out of business because he was required to sell the loss leader dollar menu stuff by corporate, and so many would never buy anything else. 

 

Chick Fil-A seems to work, but I gather that their business model is not so much franchisee/owner as it is franchisee/operator.

 

Apart from the Whataburger, there is one Wendy’s and two McD’s, but I can’t think of any others apart from roughly 1000 Subways, which clearly have a different model. No Taco Bell, no KFC, BK, Jack ITB,

 

Interesting dynamic that I wonder might tip a bit if the residential stuff pans out.

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There's almost every type of fast food in the region represented in the tunnels below downtown Houston, but they're only open on weekdays.

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There's almost every type of fast food in the region represented in the tunnels below downtown Houston, but they're only open on weekdays.

 

Types of fast food, yes, but not the paticular and otherwise successful brands. I just thought that there would be more, all else being equal. There are more Jason's Delis ans Otto's BBQ's than there are Wendy's and more Beck's Prime (just the one) than there are Taco Bell and all of the fried chicken franchises combined.

 

Ninfa's express and Alonti have the business model nailed, whatever it is.

Edited by Nate99

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Ninfa's Express is gone baby gone.

 

The one next to Beck's is, but the one under the Chase tower is still there, as is the on in te Houston Center shops, and Centerpoint.

 

Seems like there are more than that even, but I could be wrong.

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The one under Chase Tower was changed to a Maggie Rita's several months ago.

But the Ninfa's Express there still remains. It's across the hall inbetween the Pizzeria & Alonti's.

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Some friends and I were talking about the McDonald's that used to be across the street from the Flying Saucer in the current parking lot.  That one was so awful, it made the one by the Greyhound look spotless.  Ah, the memories....

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Perhaps it has something to do with the demographic. At some point you learn or realize that most of it is poison. Junk.

There is a reason why mostly the lower echelons of society frequent those places - jitb, bk, mcd, tb, etc.

What do y'all think?

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i want decent banh mi. i really dont think thats a lot to ask

 

It's not, as long as there are plenty of Vietnamese to keep the owners straight.  I've found, however, that it's hard to get that kind of oversight inside the loop.  Witness the hoopla over Mai's, which is pretty mediocre compared to what's availble on Bellaire.

 

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Yeah....but Cali, Les Givral, Cafe TH, etc...

It's not hard to get good banh mi inside the loop.

if you ask a Vietnamese I think they would disagree. These places are very Americanized to me.

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"a Vietnamese?" interesting wording. Nevertheless, my Vietnamese friends like Cali, Cafe TH and Huynh. Purely anecdotal, of course.

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Anyone who hates the food in the tunnels has clearly never been forced to eat in and around a college campus. Compared to the breakfast tacos they serve, for instance, a Ninfa's Express would be absolute heaven. When I was in the tunnels, I thought the options were pretty decent...

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it's strange how people describe different nationalities; i've literally never heard someone say "a vietnamese" in real life; it's always "a vietnamese person/girl/dude/ect."

Yet "an Indian" or "a german" would seem normal. But "a french" or "a japanese" would just sound bizarre.

 

 

 

 

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it's strange how people describe different nationalities; i've literally never heard someone say "a vietnamese" in real life; it's always "a vietnamese person/girl/dude/ect."

Yet "an Indian" or "a german" would seem normal. But "a french" or "a japanese" would just sound bizarre.

you youngsters need to get out.
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Anyone who hates the food in the tunnels has clearly never been forced to eat in and around a college campus. Compared to the breakfast tacos they serve, for instance, a Ninfa's Express would be absolute heaven. When I was in the tunnels, I thought the options were pretty decent...

What the hell kind of hippie eats a "breakfast taco". What the heck is that?

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you youngsters need to get out.

 

What? what does that even mean?

What the hell kind of hippie eats a "breakfast taco". What the heck is that?

 

Is this a serious question? I mean, it can't be, right?

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Not really. On a more serious note... maybe nobody eats the junk food in the tunnels because it is just that - junk.

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Anyone who hates the food in the tunnels has clearly never been forced to eat in and around a college campus. Compared to the breakfast tacos they serve, for instance, a Ninfa's Express would be absolute heaven. When I was in the tunnels, I thought the options were pretty decent...

Depends on the campus

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