Foodservice Equipment & Supplies

FEB 2018

Foodservice Equipment & Supplies magazines is an industry resource connecting foodservice operators, equipment and supplies manufacturers and dealers, and facility design consultants.

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28 • FOODSERVICE EQUIPMENT & SUPPLIES • FEBRUARY 2018 Management. Traditional business and industry (B&I) operators are also in the game, like Compass Group's Eurest division, which funded the transfor- mation of a food court in a Chicago skyscraper into Forum 55. "Food halls are absolutely becoming a growing segment, gaining popular- ity amongst operators and consumers," says Kevin Corsello, founder and CEO, Pork & Mindy's at Forum 55, and Elevate Food Hall in Minneapolis. "With so many restaurants opening and closing, food halls offer a low-risk investment, as they typically have a consistent footprint and operators don't have to cover the largest expenses, like seating and bathrooms. They are an extremely cost-efficient way to gain exposure to new customers, especially for young companies like ourselves." Some might also call these food halls the new food courts, helping breathe new life into lifestyle centers and corporate office buildings. Cover- ing all dayparts, food halls tend to bring fresher, more fun and flavorful offer- ings and take consumers far beyond the basic burger or heat lamp pizza slices of food courts in years past. These con- cepts also — you guessed it — cater to younger Millennial and Gen Z crowds, although diners of all ages will line up to try them. George Chen, creator, co-founder, and executive chef for China Live in San Francisco, describes today's food halls as the antithesis of yesterday's food courts, where cheap, fast food dominated. Food halls, he believes, elevate cuisine instead of cheapening it. "Developers know that consum- ers — especially Millennials — are more about the overall experience than simply about buying commoditized products and services," says Chen. "Food halls show people where the food comes from and how it's made. At China Live, we're showing real Chinese cooking in so many ways that really entice people and offer a better understanding of a popular and great cuisine." Newer versions of food halls swap out old-school fast-food chains for new concepts that position top chefs and restaurants at the forefront. Some allow consumers to purchase food at differ- ent stalls or stations, while other halls, like Latinicity, follow a more classic cafeteria-style method of service, allow- ing patrons to pick out different foods at different stations and pay for them at a central cashier station. Naturally, food halls introduce a unique set of equipment and design considerations, often forcing stall operators to whittle down their menu and work with limited space and ventilation. F o o d H a l l s R E V I V A L F O O D H A L L O W N E R S M A D E A P O I N T T O C O N S I D E R H O W T H E F A C I L I T Y C O U L D A C C O M M O D A T E B O T H W E E K D A Y B U S I N E S S C R O W D S A N D W E E K - E N D B R U N C H - G O E R S . A S A R E S U L T , F L A T T O P S T H A T C O O K B U R G E R S O N A M O N D A Y M A Y T R A N S F O R M I N T O A N E G G S T A T I O N O N S U N D A Y .

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