The competition is thick out there, y'all. Are you noticing the ever-changing urban and suburban retail storefront like I am? The landlord's who are paying attention are changing their facades, lots, arts (yes, I said "arts"), and amenities. In these highly sought out centers, competition is fierce! And, the demand for, say, typical kitchen space is being sought by many types of end-users. Furthermore, the concepts are impressive. So, if we're talking about site selection in the current market, be prepared, have your ducks in a row, and move quickly to win the space. No longer are we looking at small town U.S.A. scenarios in this market.
The local tenant's in our market are paying asking. The landlord's are taking risk going with them but mostly the risk pay off due to the culture of this market. We're attracted to strong local brands, concepts, and service that cares. In that regard, I'm lucky to have aligned with some impressive groups and have been fortunate with our site selection since landlord's are aware of their brands. Curious about data to back up these thoughts, see Market Force's work on this conversation: http://www.marketforce.com/blog/top-trends-qsr-and-fast-casual