COVID-19 and Restaurants as Tenants with Vanessa Oliver of Regent Street

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Vanessa Oliver, founder of Regent Street Capital Corp, is our guest in this episode. She is a retail brokerage expert and has closed a large number of lease deals with restaurants as the tenant.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted restaurant owners and their landlords in a deep and likely long lasting way. Vanessa shares her thoughts on how the market is responding and the future of restaurants.

Topics covered include:

  • Vanessa’s desire to start her own crepe shop and how this led her into real estate with a retail and restaurant focus.
  • What has changed for Regent Street in the past year.
  • Trends in the restaurant business before COVID-19 hit.
  • Chain restaurants becoming more prominent in downtown Toronto.
  • Working with first-to-market groups.
  • Prerequisites to get into the restaurant business and how difficult it can be.
  • Recurring themes that Vanessa sees in her clients during the pandemic.
  • Why offering take out isn’t feasible for many restaurants.
  • Long-term plans for landlords to stabilize their retail assets.
  • Government relief options and their effectiveness.
  • Economic implications of the failure of the hospitality industry.
  • Changes restaurants may have to make when they reopen.

More about our guest:

Vanessa Oliver founded Regent Street, a boutique brokerage specializing in retail and restaurant leasing services, in 2010. Her career in Commercial Real Estate started 17 years ago with national brokerages, Cushman Wakefield LePage and then, Colliers International, where she quickly established herself  as an energetic and motivated professional in the industry’s community. Her primary focus has been in the urban Toronto market, and shopping centres nationally, working with both the landlord and tenant clients such as Wittington Properties, Great West Life, Concord Adex, Cactus Club, iQ Food Co, Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants, Pizzeria Libretto, West Coast Kids, and many others.  She has a background in the restaurant and hospitality industry and as a result has become known as a Canadian expert in restaurant leasing and helping her food-service clients overcome the unique challenges that they face in their real estate choices. Vanessa is committed to her strong business ethics and understanding her client’s objectives to get deals done. She is also proud to have started the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Ride Real Estate Challenge in 2005 which to-date has raised over $4.5 million dollars. 

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