There seems to be a negative trend happening these days in to an iconic subset of the American food industry, the deli restaurant. Particularly in large cities, such as New York and LA, where there used to be thousands of these delis, now these numbers have been reduced dramatically. These places used to be thriving restaurants in the mid-twentieth century, particularly in big cities, but are now struggling due to a mediocre economy and changing consumption trends. Fortunately, in the Northern Virginia community, there are still some of these types of restaurants in business and ready to serve your favorite deli sandwiches and eats.
One factor contributing to the demise of these signature American restaurants is the consumption trend and dining preferences of the younger generation. These kids seem to be more into fast food than ever, preferring quick eat places like Chipotle and Shake Shack, which also have a reputation for quality. The relatively low prices of these meals and the fast nature of the service is what appeals to these kids. Many deli restaurants are sit down places and the prices can be expensive relative to fast food. This is in part due to higher food costs, such as record high beef costs, and high cost of leasing commercial space in bigger cities. In many of these deli restaurants, a pastrami sandwich meal can run north of twenty dollars when factoring in tip and tax.
Another negative factor is the extremely competitive nature of the food business. Theses days there are more restaurants than ever, with a seemingly unending number of options and types of food. There are new restaurants and eateries opening up on a new daily basis with new innovative concepts and philosophies. Delis are seen more as traditional and old fashioned, compared to some of the new cutting edge restaurants and fast food businesses opening up in recent times. Also for younger more health conscious consumers, the traditional deli offers comfort food that can be higher in fat and calories. Although the food may taste better, it may not be seen as a daily meal option.
As a response to this change in trend, some delis in the local community are making adjustments and offering more healthy options in addition to the traditional comfort food. According to Best DC Metro Food, one deli cafe in Arlington VA, Manhattan Cafe, offers salad, fresh fruit, soups and healthy buffet options on the menu. Although offering many sandwiches as a traditional deli, this cafe also offers healthier alternatives that appeal to a modern, more health conscious consumer. The prices for this deli café are also very competitive with the fast food offerings that younger people enjoy. Manhattan Cafe is one of the more affordable lunch time and breakfast establishments in Arlington VA.
This seems to be the typical pattern in business for industry wide trends to break old models of business, and the people who actually survive these changes are the ones who adapt to the new conditions and meet evolving consumer demands. This goes for the food industry and is particularly apparent in the tech industry. Dominant players today in these business spaces can be obsolete in no time at all if they are not constantly adapting and evolving to changes in the world.