- P.F. Chang’s opened its first of three P.F. Chang’s To Go locations in New York City on Monday, according to a press release. The company has another 12 to-go locations in the works across the U.S., including in Long Island, Florida, Colorado and Texas markets. These locations will offer takeout, delivery and catering. In February, P.F. Chang's opened three To Go restaurants in Chicago.
- The To Go locations are 1,500 to 2,000 square feet compared to P.F. Chang’s Bistro locations, which are about 7,000 square feet, and are part of the company’s strategy to reach more of an urban population, CEO Damola Adamolekun said.
- Pre-pandemic, P.F. Chang’s and other chains, including IHOP, Famous Dave’s and Firehouse Subs, were testing smaller format stores following the growth of takeout and delivery — trends that were only accelerated by dining room closures.
P.F. Chang's had been working on improving its off-premise strategy for over a year by creating the right app and e-commerce website platform for consumers, developing better packaging and improving the overall experience, Adamolekun said.
"The work we did … allowed us to do a lot better and to really transition to off-premise when we were forced to close down our restaurants," Adamolekun said.
A quarter of the company's business already came from off-premise, with a combination of to go, delivery and catering, and its Asian food travels well, Adamolekun said.
"We want to be able to meet our customers wherever they want to eat. The To Go concept is just an extension of that," Adamolekun said.
The P.F. Chang's To Go concept also has a modified menu, but includes guest favorites such as Chang's Lettuce Wraps, Mongolian Beef, Dynamite Shrimp and Chang's Spicy Chicken, according to the press release.
While the timing wasn’t ideal for the opening of its Chicago locations due to the pandemic, the results have been a mixed bag. There isn’t as large of a lunchtime population for these restaurants, especially because the office population has been largely absent. But people have been ordering a bit more for dinner and residential deliveries have been up, Adamolekun said.
P.F. Chang's could have a similar experience in New York, which has been showing signs of a recovery with the addition of a permanent outdoor dining program. P.F. Chang's To Go will also be able to maintain operations at these To Go locations even as some neighborhoods are required to shut down or restrict dining room activity following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.
"We had these locations in New York already planned before COVID, and we felt comfortable that the demand was there," Adamolekun said. "We saw good results in Chicago. We think New York is coming back. We don’t think this is a permanent situation. So we are excited to be part of the resurgence."