11 May

Food Halls are Replacing the Tired Old Food Courts

Synergy Restaurant Consultants | Blog, restaurant trends
Food Halls

Ever try going out to eat with a group of friends but can’t agree on a place? Mary wants Greek, but Tim’s craving Thai. Susan, however, has a hankering for New York style pizza. Well, the food hall is your answer, and they’re on the rise!


Think of a food hall as a reinvented food court that delivers an immersive food experience, rather than just a place for a quick bite after a day of shopping. Food halls act as a gathering place for people to try various cuisines from different food stalls. Inspired by the eclectic charm of veteran urban food centers like Chelsea Market in New York City and The Original Farmer’s market in Los Angeles, savvy developers are re-defining the food court and incubating new concepts to produce a rich dining experience beyond the city center. By reducing their footprint and sharing a roof and common space, new concepts and can reduce their start-up costs and share in the success of neighboring eateries by gaining visibility. The “Veto Vote” is moot when there are options to suit multiple palates, price points and dietary needs, especially when the space is anchored with an appealing central dining area.


Having a food hall presence is a great way for restaurant operators to showcase a single product or platform like outrageous doughnuts, the most amazing porchetta sandwich and unique takes on poutine. Diners create their own food adventure amongst the variety, perhaps by starting with a drink at one location, then moving to another spot for a first course or dessert. Diverse menu offerings encourage team eating, wherein each member of the group orders from a separate concept, then meets at a communal table for sharing and sampling. Operators capitalize on this phenomena by offering limited menus, specializing in one menu item and doing that item extremely well, effectively becoming the subject matter expert in that item.


Check out 8 food halls arriving on the scene, via restaurantbusinessonline.com – you might find one in your area! Nearby Synergy’s headquarters we find a couple of exciting food halls opening soon—SteelCraft in Long Beach, Calif. will feature merchant specializing in ramen, pizza, waffles, Hawaiian shave ice, coffee, chocolates and more. Trade Food Hall in Irvine, Calif. will serve up fried chicken, fish and chips, ice cream, and gyros to name a few.

Blog, restaurant trends