Austin Startups: It’s What’s for Dinner

Scott Francis
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I’ve previously commented on the trend of Austin eateries exporting good food (or clearly, building up the kind of operational capability to handle multiple local or regional locations).  Austin makes some great food.  And it travels well. VC’s may not consider them startups, but trust me these restaurateurs are taking every risk that a startup company takes – and they’re just as worried about how to build scalable operational businesses.  I think it is fascinating to watch unfold.

Nice to see the Austin American Statesman noticing the same trend and with some additional reporting on the subject. They point to Chuys (NASDAQ:CHUY) as a prime example of success (I agree), and then have a bit about each of the following enterprises in Austin:

  • Daily Juice
  • Uchi
  • How Do You Roll?
  • Kung Fu Saloon

But they could have easily added others to the list:

  • Torchy’s
  • Houndstooth Cafe
  • Rudy’s (locally operated, I believe)

And I see some up-and-comers that I have to believe are looking to expand outside Austin:

  • Taco Deli
  • Phonatic
  • Vert’s
  • HopDoddy

And others.. the key thing is that they have concepts that will travel.  Accessible food, and yet with enough “edge” to make it different. I hope there will be opportunities to invest in more Austin IPOs around restaurants…