El Paso, Texas — When the sun sets on a Friday, the residents of El Paso may spend hours staring into the void of the horizon as they sift through the ever-shifting shelves at the restaurants and grocery stores.
But a new wave of restaurants and grocers is poised to take over the town as the area gets a boost in population and economic growth.
“El Paso is the new Houston,” said Kevin Sorensen, vice president for market development for the food and beverage companies that run the region.
For years, El Paso’s culinary scene has largely been a safe haven for restaurants. “
There are so many different types of restaurants in El Paso and it’s really a new foodie town,” he said.
For years, El Paso’s culinary scene has largely been a safe haven for restaurants.
It’s where most of the country’s top chefs are based, and a few have come here from all over the world.
But as more of the region’s population grows, restaurants are opening and expanding their businesses, bringing more competition to the local eateries.
“You’ll have to make a lot of compromises on your menu to attract customers and get a return on your investment,” said Brian J. Stover, president and CEO of Stover Companies, a restaurant and food supply company.
“And you’ve got to be able to make your food taste good, so you can stay relevant.”
The rise of the restaurants The number of restaurants has risen from about 4,000 to more than 8,000 in just the past two years, according to a recent report from the consulting firm Pivotal Research.
The numbers have led to new competition for some restaurants and restaurants are taking advantage of it.
“It’s not just a restaurant thing,” said Mark R. Pizzolato, president of the New York-based Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which supports restaurants in the region that are trying to make it big.
“This is not a restaurant company,” he added.
“In the last two to three years, they’ve become the most important player in this industry.”
The restaurant industry has been a strong driver of economic growth in the area, said Pivalds.
He said he believes that trend will continue.
“With the growth of the industry, it’s becoming more important to have quality restaurants,” Pivadts said.
The number and type of restaurants that operate in El Pinos has also increased significantly.
Pivots, which is part of a group of restaurant operators that include McDonalds and Starbucks, operates the majority of the fast food restaurants in town.
“The restaurants that I’ve worked with have been fantastic,” said Raul Torres, president, Pivot Restaurants.
“They’ve built great relationships with the community, the employees, the customers and the community.
They’re doing really well.”
Pivodots has seen growth, but it’s not all about fast food.
The group has also seen a shift in its business model.
“Most of the customers I serve are not really fast food customers,” Torres said.
“I’ve had customers who are looking for a nice burger, and I’ve had people who are going to go to work, get some coffee, and come back for a few bites of pizza.”
He said that his restaurants have always been a place for a traditional, slow-serve menu, and that is the future of El Pino’s business.
“If you can keep the quality high and make it a family restaurant, that’s what we want to do,” he explained.
“A lot of times, we are going with a traditional restaurant model.
But now we have the opportunity to do something completely different.”
The new restaurants will have a unique set of challenges Pivopols plans to tackle, said Torres.
“Our challenge right now is finding the right people to run the business,” he stated.
Torres has been running a restaurant in El Peso since 2011, and said that he was happy with the changes he saw in the industry as a result.
“What we’ve been able to achieve has been phenomenal,” Torres explained.
He noted that the group’s restaurants have been able, through an extensive network of connections with local businesses and government agencies, to secure new restaurant permits.
He believes that will allow them to compete with other restaurant operators.
“These are the kind of restaurants where you want to be sure you can make a business that is truly serving the community,” he noted.
PIVot Restaurans also has been working with the city of El Paso to help with infrastructure and make sure that El Pinos food is served at the right level.
Pivot Restaurants has built a new restaurant on a former bank that’s been vacant for years.
The company has already seen a noticeable increase in traffic.
“Since we’ve opened our doors, we’ve seen a 20 percent increase in customer traffic and that’s just from people coming in,” Torres noted.