PF Chang's is opening to-go locations in New York, meeting shifting consumer behavior

The new model, which focuses on more dense urban areas and smaller footprints, will allow the chain to enter larger market spaces and reach a new customers

P.F. Chang’s is expanding its off-premise locations into the New York market as consumers shift their dining habits in the backdrop of dining restrictions and the delivery boom.

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To stay competitive in a suffering industry, the Asian-inspired chain is opening its first to-go location in the Big Apple’s theatre district. Contrary to the lifeless eateries and uninhabited streets of the once-buzzing gathering place, off-premise concepts are thriving as they become the quintessential lifelines in metropolitan hubs. And constructs like P.F. Chang’s To Go unit are not only moving in but also stealing the spotlight.

“Our new To Go model is effectively a response to the consumer behavior,” CEO of P.F. Chang’s Damola Adamolekun told FOX Business. “We've noticed an increase in off-premise engagement with delivery, catering, takeout, which grew to be about 25% of our business in 2019. With that continuing growth, the To Go concept is really a way to reach more guests in more places.”

P.F. Chang’s first to-go location in New York’s theatre district follows its first three Chicago openings from earlier this year.

(Credit: P.F. Chang's)

The fast casual chain, known for its signature wok-made dishes, will roll out three more for a total of four New York locations by the end of this year, with plans to add at least 20 nationwide by next year.

(Credit: P.F. Chang's)

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The new model, which focuses on more dense urban areas and smaller footprints, will allow the chain to enter larger market spaces and reach a new variety of customers. Each location will be nearly a quarter of the size of the regular restaurants, making up just 1,700 square feet. According to Adamolekun, the off-premise sites will be more manageable and affordable than the 7,000-square-foot bistros. Places like downtown Chicago and Manhattan run on large operating costs.

Even though there are fewer people in the city today and the closure of offices has diminished luch traffic, P.F. Chang's has seen a large uptick in dinner orders. More people are not only ordering dinner, but they are doing so on a frequent basis, which has net out the daytime losses.

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As P.F. Chang's adds more to-go concepts, it will also integrate in-house delivery services in order to strengthen the brand experience and assert more control over delivery logistics.

And with wider-ranging dining options, P.F. Chang’s is working to “meet customers where they are today and stay ubiquitous and engaging with guests.”

“If you want to come into our bistro and have a birthday party and celebrate with us, we’re there for you,” Adamolekun said. “And now, if you want to have a meal delivered at home or order takeout for your football game party, we can do that as well and in more places.”

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