IMG_2384I just got back from San Diego where I spoke at the National Restaurant Association Financial Officers and Tax Executives Conference. I was on a panel with Ron Dee of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants and George Galloway of Next Realty Mid-Atlantic. Although I was a speaker there, I always try to take advantage of learning a thing or two for myself at these kind of seminars, as well as develop relationships with clients and potential clients. By that measure, it was a successful trip.

  1. I learned from George Galloway that savvy tenants have gotten real smart at how to reject delivery of possession and thereby obtain penalty payments, and that savvy landlords have gotten real smart at how to avoid paying allowance installments.
  2. I enjoyed an amazing dinner at Eddie V’s in LaJolla overlooking the ocean with Harvey Metro of Matchbox Food Group and Ron Dee and RD Ahlers of Cooper’s Hawk.
  3. I met Suzie Pfeiffer, Vice President of Finance of LaRosa’s. I had to go all the way to San Diego to meet her. I’m an east coast pizza guy, but have to say I love LaRosa’s.
  4. I learned from Ron Dee that landlords are highly motivated to provide an allowance in every deal, but at the same time highly motivated to not actually pay it.
  5. I learned that Steiner + Associates is a great landlord. Steiner’s lease is, relatively speaking, extremely reasonable and easy to read, and they are much more willing to agree to reasonable changes requested by a tenant.
  6. I had maybe the best fish taco in the world. And I got it from a food truck. Marisco’s German Beyer. I have no idea what that means or what is German about it, but I have now ended my search for the world’s greatest fish taco. They have a shrimp taco called the Gobernator which was pretty damn good too.
  7. We discussed that restaurants may be the new anchors in today’s lifestyle centers. A center has to provide an “experience” to motivate consumers to visit the center as opposed to sitting home and buying over the internet. Restaurants help create that experience.