The Food Court: a trend in the restaurant industry that’s worth embracing
Also known as a “food hall” or “food market,” the food court is currently the unmissable phenomenon in the restaurant industry. Initially limited to large cities, it is now expanding to medium-sized towns where the concept’s strengths are equally appealing.
The Food court concept present in all regions
In France, the food court made its appearance only a few years ago. Several major cities inaugurated their own within a few months, starting with Lyon and Paris. Others followed suit, such as Bordeaux, Toulouse, and Lille. Currently, there are several dozen food courts across the country, each with varying formats and atmospheres:
- Pop-up food courts
- Gourmet halls
- Covered markets
- And more
There is no longer a need to be a major metropolis to have a food court! Nowadays, they can be found in smaller towns such as Amiens, Hérouville-Saint-Clair, or Marcq-en-Barœul. This goes to show that no region in France can escape this prevailing trend.
However, it is important to note that the food court is not a new phenomenon per se. The first food courts appeared in the 1970s, mainly in Asia and the United States, primarily in shopping malls.
In Europe, it wasn’t until the 2010s that several significant food courts were established. The Time Out Market, an essential spot in Lisbon, is considered one of the very first European “food markets.”
The undeniable advantages behind the success of the Food court
The popularity of the food court is not solely due to its trendy appeal. This concept, which combines gastronomy, conviviality, and often musical or cultural entertainment, has many advantages. The ambiance of the place and the wide choice of specialties largely explain the enthusiasm of consumers for the food court.
For the restaurateurs, caterers, and other culinary actors who set up shop in a food court, the advantages are also numerous:
- Often reduced operating costs (shared premises, joint communication campaigns, etc.)
- Access to densely frequented areas and the flow of customers generated directly by competitors
- A collective dimension that encourages exchanges, collaboration, and innovation
- An ideal format for testing a concept while limiting financial risk
- The possibility of offering takeaway and online ordering services
- And more
In other words, the food court meets the expectations of customers while providing interesting opportunities for restaurateurs. Moreover, the recent establishment of food courts in medium-sized towns has sparked optimism among investors. There will likely be numerous opportunities in the coming months and years.
Digital and effective marketing tools behind the Food court’s success
The food court allows for various adaptations in terms of cuisine and ambiance. Additionally, one can leverage innovative digital and marketing tools to boost sales and reputation.
On-site or online: a Food court concept that adapts
As mentioned earlier, one of the advantages of the food court lies in the ability to offer different consumption options. Just like in a traditional restaurant, various methods can coexist in a food court:
- Table service or bar service
- Online ordering
There is nothing stopping the implementation of solutions similar to those in any other establishment: table ordering service with a QR code menu, online ordering app, kiosks, social media engagement, and more.
In line with the needs of restaurateurs, LivePepper fully adapts to this growing format. This is notably the case with its online ordering tool, which offers various functionalities to address your specific challenges.
The importance of marketing for developing a Food court
While innovative in its form, the food court is subject to the same constraints as any restaurant. It needs to establish awareness, communicate regularly, and build customer loyalty. For all these reasons, a food court, like any other establishment, requires tailored marketing support.
This support can take various forms and be personalized according to your needs:
- Logo and graphic design creation
- Design and printing of communication materials
- Website content (text and visuals)
- Promotion tools
- Social media management
- And more
These are all services that LivePepper already provides to its restaurant clients. Today, they are also available for marketplaces, dark kitchens, and even your future food court!
Are you interested in the food court concept? Are you planning to integrate your restaurant into an existing food hall or food market? LivePepper is here to help you succeed in your launch and support your development. Contact us now to discuss your project and learn more about LivePepper’s offering for food courts (contact©livepepper.com).