- P.F. Chang's launched a new restaurant concept called Chang's After Dark on Thursday in Miami to provide a late-night destination with exclusive bar and dining menu, bottle service, and live entertainment, according to a company press release.
- The bar features custom cocktails with thematic names like Emperor's Kiss as well as food items like Mongolian Sliders and Chicken Katsu Sliders.
- The first location debuted in Miami’s Brickell Village will be open to guests 21 and over Thursdays from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
This new concept taps into consumers' appetite for restaurants that provide more than just a meal, a trend that several restaurants have been leaning into. Tokyo Record Bar in New York City, for example, features a menu that lets guests pick the music playlist, a seven-course tasting menu, and a tricky-to-find entrance. P.F. Chang's hasn't said whether this will be the first and only Chang's After Dark to open, but the concept could help improve slumping sales that have been a fixture among full-service dining operations.
"Chang's After Dark allows guests to experience P.F. Chang's in an entirely new way, and they no longer need to leave the restaurant to continue their night out," said Joseph Mongeluzzi, P.F. Chang's vice president of hospitality, in the statement.
The new concept’s focus on aspects like bottle service and a DJ will likely appeal to the late-night party crowd who may prefer something more upscale than a local dive bar but that also serves food. But studies have shown that some demographics like younger millennials are more interested in staying at home when they consume alcohol, while 55% of Americans tend to opt for drinking at home.
Restaurant concepts with a strong entertainment component have been thriving within the full-service category and a quarter of American said in a SevenRooms survey that they prefer venues that have an activity, with a strong preference toward live entertainment. It may take a strong focus on ambiance and added experience-related features like live music, creative food menus, and more to convince some consumers to head out after dark. P.F. Chang's late-night concept also offers an incentive for diners already at the restaurant to stay longer and spend more.
Another trending concept is a temporary pop-up or limited-time offering, which heightens many diners' sense of urgency to sample the experience. Some recent examples include a Game of Thrones-themed bar in Washington D.C., which included show-inspired cocktails. Other restaurants have been honing in on improving alcohol offerings, including Applebee's happy hour deals and recent partnership with Valentine Distilling Co. to offer two craft cocktails in 65 of its store locations. TGI Friday's launched a Five Bar menu in June featuring $5 beer, wine and clean-label premium cocktails, while IHOP added its first full-service bar at one of its Phoenix locations.