Page 7

Asian food hall The Block. Photo by PIke & Rose.

Market by Google, in March 2018, is another demonstration that the food hall is not just a strong value play for restaurants, but also for developers, mall operators and mixed-use developers. “...food halls represent a cheaper and more flexible alternative to investing in standalone restaurant space,” says the Cushman & Wakefield report. “Food halls are not a fad— Food halls are the sharing economy for restaurants. They are here to stay and, for most of the United States, the trend has only just begun.” The food hall model is usually tasked to and operated by a master operator. This gives partner restaurant operators a model where they can show off artisan products and foods, and provide a diversity of concepts and service-style systems, ranging from urban street fare to polished, sit-down service. Typically, the master food hall operator will also provide space to gourmet markets or street vendors who can offer foods to be prepared at home, further adding a mix to the built-in food ecosystem.

Flexibility is key in this format, and there are a variety of short- and long-term options that the master food hall operator can provide to tenants and subtenants. “Deals often include common area maintenance charges for communal dining and/or cooking, preparation, freezer/cooler or office space.” The report notes that, in many ways, the food hall represents for restaurant operators the shared economy version of a dining venue. Cushman & Wakefield project about 180 to 190 food hall projects in operation in the United States by the end of the year, and 300 by the end of 2020. If the 190 number is accurate, the end-of-year 2018 count would represent a 64 percent increase over the 116 total that was tallied at the end of 2017. Additionally, there are 44 U.S. food hall projects under construction, currently. Expect to see more of these experiential dining forums locally as we close out the year, and more announcements of upcoming projects due to their popularity with savvy restaurant operators, property developers and landlords.

Swizzle Chill 7

Swizzle Chill Magazine Issue One  

Swizzle Chill Magazine is D.C.'s very own digital publication to discover new experiences and stories about local food & drink programs, rea...

Swizzle Chill Magazine Issue One  

Swizzle Chill Magazine is D.C.'s very own digital publication to discover new experiences and stories about local food & drink programs, rea...