Is the Austin Restaurant Industry Seeing a Bubble Bursting?

closed restaurants in austinTo many the perception is that Austin restaurants are thriving, winning countless food awards from magazines and other organizations.  However smoking hot the restaurant scene in Austin seems to be those that actually work in the industry are telling a different story.  Regardless of the cuisine and price range Austin restaurants seem to close as fast as they open.  In 2016 alone we are averaging 4 closings for every 5.5 openings per month.

Why are Austin Restaurants Closing?

  • For one the Austin restaurant scene is getting a bit over saturated.  To survive restaurants need to make at least $1M per year to cover overhead.  With so many choices it's hard to have repeat customers.
  • The cost of living has increased causing restaurant labor such as waiters, line cooks, etc to move farther an farther away from where they work.  This makes is difficult and expensive to commute.
  • Cost of employees is higher.  Because of the shortage of good employees restaurants have to pay more or offer more incentives to attract new talent.
  • Immigration rates have decreased
  • Also, Austin retail lease rates and occupancy rates are at an all time making it hard for local and national restaurants to afford the high monthly rents.
  • National overtime rules are about to make it even harder.  Soon managers and asst managers that make less $47,476 (About $22 per hr) will have to be paid overtime for additional hours.

Austin Restaurants That Have Closed in 2016

  1. Congress
  2. LaV
  3. Cantina Laredo
  4. Mettle
  5. Arro
  6. Gardner
  7. Finn & Porter
  8. El Arroyo
  9. Al Fico
  10. Sagra
  11. Ophelia
  12. Fork & Vine
  13. Satay
  14. East Size Show Room
  15. Kin & Comfort

You can read more about Austin restaurant closings here and here.  Also here is a list of restaurants that closed in 2015

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