Skechers Joins Brands Launching Restaurants to Build Consumer Connections

Skechers store sign

At a Skechers location in Gardena, Calif., shoppers can buy not only shoes, but also a burger and fries — the latest instance of a non-food company opening up a restaurant to build brand loyalty.

The footwear brand’s “Food Spot” quietly opened back in May, Eater reports, and the eatery, which looks much like a Costco food court, sells a wide range of low-priced menu items outside the brand’s shoe store. The menu includes Nathan’s hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizzas, fries, desserts and soft drinks.

“Years ago we thought, wouldn’t it be great to have a food concession?” Skechers CEO Michael Greenberg told the news outlet. “I thought we could make shopping for shoes like a family outing.”

The eatery has been garnering relatively positive reviews. It has 4.3 stars on Google, and 4.2 on Yelp, and Greenberg said the spot has been performing better than expected.

This Food Spot is apparently not Skechers’ first foray into dining. An Instagram post from three years ago shows a Skechers Cafe opening in Moreno Valley, Calif., and a Yelp page for a Skechers Cafe in the same area shows reviews dating back to 2017. The spot offers hot dogs and fries as well, with many different menu items such as pasta bowls, tacos, a wider range of sandwiches and tea and coffee drinks.

In recent years, non-restaurant companies have been opening restaurants or pop-up dining experiences in an effort to give consumers a more direct, immersive connection to their brands. Most recently, on Wednesday (Sept. 20), Nissin Foods, maker of Cup Noodles, announced the opening of pop-up brewery bars in Los Angeles, Calif. and Dallas, Texas, pairing the brand’s ramens with beers.

In June, streaming giant Netflix announced the launch of its Netflix Bites pop-up restaurant in Los Angeles, offering meals from celebrity chefs featured in series on the streaming platform.

“From episode to entrée, with NETFLIX BITES we are creating an in-person experience where fans can immerse themselves in their favorite food shows,” Josh Simon, VP, Consumer Products at Netflix, said in a statement at the time.

Mattel, meanwhile, has been seizing on the enthusiasm for the Barbie brand inspired by the recent film with its pop-up Malibu Barbie Café in partnership with events platform Bucket Listers. The pop-up opened its doors in Chicago in June and in New York in May, and both are running through mid-October, having had their runs extended due to popular demand.

In in 2021, dating app Bumble opened a Bumble Brew café and wine bar, which was not meant to be a pop-up, but which later shut down in 2022 after a burst pipe.

Ralph Lauren’s Ralph’s Coffee café chain has built the clothing brand’s ethos, becoming something of an icon itself with 16 locations across five states in addition to a line of dozens of branded products that consumers can order online.

Japan has been a leader in the branded restaurant space, with dozens of branded pop-up and permanent cafes every year. Currently open spots include a Winnie the Pooh café, a Halloween-themed Hello Kitty buffet, and a café based on the video game Final Fantasy.