Black Bear Diner's newest location in Brownsville, Texas, features a modified kitchen and front-of-the-house design elements dedicated to pickup and delivery services
These enhancements are intended to streamline operational efficiencies and open additional space for team members and guests in the main dining area. The Brownsville restaurant, which opened today, is also one of several that Black Bear Diner is building or updating to include an outdoor patio dining area.
“With this new format debuting in Brownsville, areas of service are optimized, creating the best possible experience for our dining room guests, our patio guests and our guests enjoying Black Bear Diner in their own homes,” said Anita Adams, CEO of Black Bear Diner.
Optimizing Off Prem
As the first location to incorporate new features that cater specifically to off-premise sales, Black Bear Diner Brownsville features a separate cooking line, along with a separate pickup window for third-party orders.
During 2020, as restaurants nationwide faced the realities of doing business during the COVID-19 pandemic, they increasingly leaned in to off-prem. For Black Bear Diner, off-premise dining has played an increasingly important role since early 2020, as indoor dining rooms were subject to occupancy restrictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic and guests turned to pickup and delivery options for meals. The modified layout in Brownsville is intended to accommodate these additional orders while protecting the guest experience that Black Bear Diner is known for delivering.
“Our number-one priority is delivering on guest experience within our four walls, however, the strong off-premise business that we’ve built over this past year presents a great opportunity to drive our AUVs above 2019 levels. Guests clearly value the convenience of picking up a meal from Black Bear Diner or having it delivered,” continued Adams. “We believe off-premise demand is here to stay. With this new diner layout, we hope to maximize in-house efficiencies that make order fulfillment easier for our teams and enable a positive experience for all of our guests, regardless of where they choose to dine.”
Patio seating will be another unique design element at the Brownsville restaurant. The area includes shade covers for comfortable outdoor dining and seats an additional 32 guests – the main dining room will seat 160. Since April 2021, Black Bear Diner has opened patios at diners in California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
The Brownsville location is the first of several that Black Bear Diner plans to open in cities across Texas over the next several months, including Pasadena – in the greater Houston area, McAllen – along the southern border, and Dallas, as the diner concept looks to expand its presence in the state.