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Colliers International insights on key trends transforming the current restaurant investment landscape

Published 10 January 2020

Etienne van Unen, Partner, Director Retail, Head EMEA Retail, Colliers International gives us a preview of what he will be discussing at GRIF 2020.

The GRIF Team had a chance to collect Etienne van Unen’s feedback who is a part of Colliers International, a top tier global real estate services and investment management company operating in 69 countries with a workforce of more than 13,000 professionals, regarding how brands such as Colliers International benefit from their participation at GRIF.

GRIF: What are the key trends transforming the current restaurant investment landscape and how?

ETIENNE: Food & Beverage has become a crucial factor in the investment landscape. F&B should however not only be used to fill the vacant units in our shopping streets or malls. There should be a balance between the different real estate sectors and F&B to be mutually beneficial. A combination with retail, offices, hotels, residential and leisure creates an environment in which visitors’ dwelling time increases. Leading to a boost in consumer spending. F&B can play a pivotal role in the future as the new anchor for tenants and in the tenant’s mix.


GRIF: How is the future of the restaurant industry in Europe going to be different from what it is today?

ETIENNE: There are more F&B entrepreneurs owning or operating multiple stores and concepts that are growing in their own market as well as abroad. Besides their growing store count, we see that they are creating their own delivery platform where visitors can collect their meal instore or order home delivery. We also see that in general convenience (delivery/ take away/ drive thru) has been growing rapidly over last few years.


GRIF: Tell us a little bit about what you look forward to discussing at GRIF 2020?

ETIENNE: Consumers are more active online than ever before. When people do go out and shop, they want a total experience: a mix with food and leisure. When the shopping area’s brand mix is right, this create a positive customer experience which all parties, can benefit from: higher income for entrepreneur, stable rental income for the real estate owner. And of course for the customer who enjoyed their time and will come back again.


GRIF: How do you benefit from being a part of GRIF?

ETIENNE: At Colliers we are actively involved in F&B markets across Europe. Not only with our services but also by sharing are knowledge through research paper and public speaking. As a GRIF partner we are able to connect with relevant parties, discuss ideas and share market developments. This will help us to connect parties and find the rights solutions for entrepreneurs, property owners, developers and investors.


GRIF: What are you looking forward to the most at this year’s event?

ETIENNE: The entrepreneurial spirit at GRIF is very much present. I’m looking forward to liaising with other GRIF partners, talk to entrepreneurs and real estate parties and to learn from experts in the industry.



Etienne is a specialist in translating the commercial point of departure into development projects with practical and feasible solutions. Leasing and relocation during complex (re)developments is one of his main specialties. Etienne is a true relationship manager: By listening to others he forms the base for good relationships as well as understanding about the clients and their demands and building bridges between multiple disciplinary parties. His ambition is to satisfy everyone and to make 1+1 equal 4.

After building the Retail Agency department within Colliers International Netherlands, Etienne is now moving forward to build a new service line of Food & Beverage. Nowadays, F&B is the fastest growing branch in the real estate sector. Etienne’s goal is to combine his knowledge in the hospitality sector with his expertise in real estate. Together with his role as Co-Head of EMEA, the combination is ideal to roll out this project across in Europe and also help entrepreneurs/ brands grow in NL and cross borders in EU.