Empty seats and tables set with red and white checkered tablecloths
Your Favorite Local Restaurant May Really Be A Secret Chain
New local restaurants can add excitement and character to your town's food scene, but some restaurants that seem like local gems may actually be chains in disguise.
In order to cultivate an intimate atmosphere, some restaurant groups are designing restaurant concepts that serve local preferences while adhering to a corporate standard.
Many restaurants hide their chain affiliation, and individual restaurants or chains may have a different name or look than other restaurants in the same group.
One group finding success with stealthy expansion is Eureka! Restaurants, which tries to reflect the distinct communities that each of its 30 restaurants are located in.
La Popular is a "secret chain" eatery owned by Grupo Carolo. It offers authentic Mexico City cuisine, along with showcasing local art and musicians from the community.
These brands mention their multiple locations online, but don't reveal that they're a part of larger restaurant groups, letting them maintain a "small" identity and customer base.