What are food halls and why are they a commercial management gold mine?
Food has long been a way for people to connect with their world and with one another. In a world that some view as becoming increasingly connected online and decreasingly connected in person, it is natural to question the staying power of the traditional restaurant experience. As people across America are eating out more often than they did in previous generations, the landscape of food and restaurant culture isn’t lessening, but it is adapting to fit current market needs. And currently, the market craves food halls, a commercial management gold mine.
Food halls may seem like a trend that has already been explored. Hello, food courts! And yet food halls are popping up in an increasing number of retail spaces, piquing the interest of realtors and consumers alike. Food halls are open-floor areas with a variety of different types of cuisines, vendors and price-points. Unlike food courts, food halls are often a bit more interactive. Rather than multiple vendors selling take-away foods, food halls typically will have bars and counters that help amplify diner experience. The ingredients are often locally sourced, high-quality ingredients that attract clients who are willing to pay for quality and experience.
These increasing amounts of food halls are popping up because the people want them, but also because they make sense to business owners. For restaurateurs who may not have a large following, food halls are a great way to lessen overhead lower the costs of operation. Making the process easier is the fact that garbage and general area clean-up are taken care of by the building rather than individual tenants. These perks are great and seem even more appealing when you add in the foot traffic that a restaurant may not have otherwise received.
But what value does a food hall have in terms of commercial property management? At its most basic level, a food hall is an incredible way to maximize on rental income of a given space. As many restaurants are able to coexist in one area, rental revenue increases drastically.
Though it is true that more tenants mean more rent, the gourmet experience that food halls offer brings a few more positive elements to a commercial manager’s business operations. First, the quality of food attracts people at all times of day, rather than simply catering to the lunch crowd that just wants a bite to eat before they head back to their desks. People come to food halls for a dining experience, which means they don’t just come for lunch. They come for lunch of course, but also dinner, drinks and for an exciting snack in-between meal.
Food halls not only drive revenue in the building within which they are housed either. A food hall adds charm and convenience to up-and-coming neighborhoods and can attract local residents and business owners to the area. Not only that, but food halls bring business into malls that are otherwise dwindling in foot traffic. The lure of the artisanal stalls and exciting new cuisines brings customers in, but once they are inside a mall or development shoppers may decide to shop around.
The most important thing to understand about food halls is that while people are often looking for convenience when it comes to shopping, the experience of eating out and enjoying good quality food is a service that is not being replaced anytime soon. As food malls pop up in cities all over the country, business and real estate owners would be wise to ask themselves what a food hall could do for their area or business!