Mexican restaurant owners and restaurateurs have been struggling for years to find new restaurants to open in Miami.
And, of course, there are many more that haven’t opened yet.
But now, a new study shows that some Mexican restaurants actually benefit from being in Miami—at least in some cases.
It turns out that restaurants in Miami’s Latin Quarter are actually helping their local businesses succeed.
The findings of the study by the Miami Dade County Library and Research Center, a partnership between the library and Miami-Dade College, were released last month.
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“Restaurants that serve Mexican cuisine are actually benefitting,” said Maria Estrada-Sanchez, the lead researcher for the study.
“It’s not just that they get to open and then have an impact on local businesses, it’s also that they’re the ones who are making money.
And it’s not a question of whether they have a good experience, but how successful they are at what they’re doing.”
The study found that Mexican restaurants in the Latin Quarter opened more than 6,000 new restaurants in 2017, up from just 2,000 restaurants in 2016.
The study also found that the average restaurant in Miami increased its revenue by more than $2,000, or 12 percent, between 2016 and 2017.
For the first time in the study’s history, the number of restaurants in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods increased by almost 15 percent, while the number in Spanish neighborhoods declined by more about 6 percent.
And this isn’t just a Miami phenomenon.
Researchers at the Miami Herald recently reported that Mexican restaurant establishments in Miami are growing more than 7 percent every year.
But, it turns out, Mexican restaurants also benefit from the same local businesses that are struggling to open.
For example, the Miami-area restaurant industry was one of the top five sectors in terms of revenue growth in the last decade.
But restaurants in Latin Quarter communities have been seeing the biggest gains in those sectors.
In 2017, the average Hispanic-owned restaurant in the city increased by more then 20 percent.
In addition, the median Hispanic-run restaurant in Latin-American neighborhoods has increased by a whopping $2.4 million, while Hispanic-operated businesses in Spanish communities have seen their average revenue grow by only about $600,000.
And in Miami- Dade’s Latin-Hispanic neighborhoods, the percentage of Hispanic- and Latino-owned restaurants increased by an average of 27 percent over the last 10 years.
This could be an area where the restaurants can take advantage of their proximity to Miami.
Estradas-Sayers explained that, “Latin-American restaurants are close to the area where people are, so there’s lots of opportunities for them to make money.”
For the study, the researchers analyzed a range of restaurant data collected from the Dade Health and Human Services Department, which included the number and type of restaurants that opened, the type of patrons that patronized the restaurants, and the location of the restaurants.
The researchers also looked at other aspects of the restaurant industry, such as demographics, business demographics, and revenue.
In the study report, the authors say, “We found that restaurants with the highest median income, the largest proportion of Latino owners, and businesses in Latin American neighborhoods, have higher income and increased revenue.”
The researchers concluded that, in terms “of their economic impact, Hispanic-Owned restaurants, including the majority of those in Latin, are the primary beneficiaries of the Miami area.”