100% Food court - 100% Inspiration

Tuesday 6 December 2016

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100% Food court - 100% Inspiration

Every retail lover should visit New York from time to time to keep up-to-date with the concepts of the future. I too recently visited New York to gain inspiration in gastronomy. But drawing a distinction between gastronomy and food retail proved to be more difficult than ever. Take Whole Foods, Columbus Circle, for example. Is this a food store or a self-service restaurant? At this establishment, you can even find a complete brewery.

I believe one of the best new developments in New York is the emerging stand-alone food courts. The names of these concepts create the atmosphere: ‘Gotham West Market’, ‘Gansevoort Market’ and the latest concept ‘Urban Space’. These are 100% food courts that combine different types of cuisine. For example, you’ll find deluxe burgers, Mexican tacos, Asian dishes and freshly squeezed smoothies. And everything under one roof. Of course, the food court has been in existence for some time: a place where gastronomy comes together, the consumer can choose among various concepts that are consumed at a central location. But the traditional food court is outdated. In fact, you could claim that the food court has been reinvented…

Food court 2.0:

Food court without retail

These new food courts are so attractive that retail is no longer needed to generate traffic. This changes the demand for surface area and offers new opportunities in terms of locations. The concepts in New York are generally between 2,000 and 3,000 square metres, which naturally is much less than the surface area needed for an entire shopping centre. Food court 2.0 fits perfectly within the urban lifestyle. 

Pop-up character

The feeling that the food courts project is that of a real pop-up. The food providers are given complete discretion to decorate their stands in a creative way. This is already an experience in itself. Every stand is a surprise. Traditional shopping centres often have very strict guidelines, but none of this is found at the stand-alone food courts. Food court 2.0 fits in the urban environment and appeals to the imagination. 

Hip, hot and happening

In the past, the food court was not necessarily the 'place to be'. The food court was dominated by large international fast food chains. Uninspiring and not very tasty. You went to eat there because it was quick and easy, not because it enriched the day. The new food court is hip, hot and  happening. Instead of always the same it is always surprising. Small local initiatives and perhaps still not always very healthy, but at least it is very tasty! A place where you want to be seen, where you meet with friends.

Wonderful developments where the heart of the retail lover beats faster. And the stand-alone-food courts are also conquering the rest of the world. In Amsterdam, you find the Foodhallen, a real food court 2.0. And surely a lot more will follow soon…

Martin Gaber

Interested in more inspiring food concepts and food courts in New York? Let us know via [email protected] and we will contact you! 

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