Importance of Food and Beverages in Shopping malls

by Lenka Matthews

My experience shows that customer expectation and demand is growing. Even the customers of classic fast foods demand ever higher -quality in food, freshness, equipment, furniture, lighting, and even accessories and greenery. Last, but not least, customer service, cleanliness or a wide offer for vegetarians, vegans or celiac are essential.

I would like to share two specific examples from the Ostrava and Hradec Králové regions, where I am responsible for the leasing of the shopping centres Forum Nová Karolina and Futurum Hradec Králové. 

Traditional restaurant concepts, which respond flexibly to the specifics of local demand, have been traditionally successful. The most successful food formats include McDonald’s, KFC or Bageterie Boulevard, larger formats include Pizza Coloseum and Kaskáda.

New introduced concepts are a vegan bistro, vegg-go, and UGO Salaterie, a pilot project in the Czech Republic on 328 sqm, which has enjoyed massive attention by the industry experts and customers. 

UGO salaterie Forum Nová KarolínaUGO salaterie (foto: Forum Nová Karolina)

Futurum Hradec Králové – we started to manage the shopping centre in spring 2015. Our main task for this favourite and visited centre is to constantly improve the tenant mix and introduce new and popular brands. One of the segments we focus on is the food-court. I believe that OC Futurum’s year-on-year increase in sales and footfall is mainly due to improvements in tenant mix, food-court and services. 

New concepts are welcome

New concepts are welcome

The food-court customers can now enjoy a Czech restaurant, Kaskáda, Asian cuisine, KFC, McDonald’s, Bageterie Boulevard – favourite fast foods concepts – and healthy food of UGO Salatery, vegetarian vegg-go and Fruitisimo. I was also very excited to conclude a deal with a new concept for the centre, the Starbucks Coffee, which opens in autumn 2017.

    
New Concept Vegg-go (foto: veganrepublic.cz)

Finally, I  think a food-court differentiates shopping centres. We are constantly working on improving and expanding food-courts, but it is a long-term process for several reasons, including financial demands of food concepts, experience, right retail units, quality of concepts and customer-friendly service. These are some of the main reasons why there is a lack of high-quality concepts on the Czech market compared to Western Europe and why there is still space for the new entrants.

    
wagamama – from bowl to soul & L’Osteria (foto: Instagram)

We have something to look forward to

I had the opportunity and pleasure to attend the 2nd International Food Conference in Berlin at the end of May, which confirmed the trends and the importance of the food-court. The good news is that we can look forward to new concepts such as Vapiano this year, and there are a few more concepts which are considering the Czech market – Wagamama, Five Guys or L´Osteria.