Food and beverages have evolved from being retail's poor cousin to being the sector with the dominating edge. DLF Cyberhub which is India’s first integrated Food & Entertainment destination comprising of all formats of dining spread across the varied cuisines with well known Indian and international brands top the list of food only space. The uniqueness comes from the novelty of the concept which is a breath of fresh air in India. The ambience, architecture and open spaces including the large amphitheatre make the space exciting platform for events and promotion of art, culture and music.
“Food is the binding thread in all connects of business, family and friends. Hence, food joints become the ultimate socialising platform for the new age, well travelled consumer,” pointed Anant Verma, Business Head, DLF CyberHub which has around 34 thousand footfall in weekdays and 28 thousand on weekends.
Continuously matching its standards with global malls, Select CityWalk mall designed with a chick and trendy decor has become one of the favourites mall for Delhities. The mall also started ‘My Square’ food courts, in partnership with Everstone Capitals to promote the ever-growing demand of food in India and open food courts at various locations including a mix of malls and high streets.
“Earlier there were only introduction of Chinese and Indian food, Mexican is also picking up and Asian food has variety now, so people have a choice now. And, we have seen that food is doing very good business now,” said Sharma who shared that restaurants like Yum Yum Cha, Mamagoto, Joy Luck Moon, Amici are top performer at his mall.
Similarly, newly launched DLF Mall of India has made numbers in bringing about 40 per cent food brands at their mall. With a total of 75 F&B options to choose from, the mall also has a massive food court with a lot of good options to choose from.
“At Noida what we’re looking to do is create a destination of City 18. Sector 18 is where the food revolution began. We are talking to the authorities to create City 18- the best hub in Delhi NCR for entertainment, shopping and food,” said Pushpa Bector, EVP and Head, DLF Mall of India which is targeting monthly footfalls of around 3 million.
According to a research by Pune based Ishanya Mall close to 88% of customers visit mall for F&B and entertainment, reiterating the fact that food and beverage is very important as a category. Focusing on F&B as a growing opportunity Ishanya not focuses on food courts rather it has dedicated close to 80,000 sq.ft. of their 4,00,000 sq. ft. which is roughly 20% of total retail space exclusively to fine dine restaurants.
“20 per cent of our space is allocated to pure F&B and if you add the entertainment based F&B then it is around 30% of our total retail space,” shared Mahesh M, CEO Ishanya & Housl!fe.
Set on a concept of good ambience, variety, speedy and quick service and mix of local and international brands, Chennai based Express Avenue comes next in the row which has food courts as a biggest revenue generator. Naming the food court ‘EA Garden’ one can really have a feel of a mix of cuisine and culture here.
“We have balanced the above 4 points well in our food court by having some fantastic brands offering cuisines like Thai, Burmese, Continental and Local flavours,” shared Ganesh CV, Vice President – Leasing & Marketing, Express Infrastructure Pvt Ltd which gets over 1.5 Lakhs to 2 lakhs footfall coming from its food court per month.
On the other hand, Kolkata based Quest mall has an average footfall of over 2, 00,000 to 3, 00,000 people per month. Playing on certain ingredients, the mall has a mix of local flavours, people preferences, international brands and lot of hygiene factors which has made it one of the successful food court in Eastern region.
Commenting on the same, Sanjeev Mehra, Vice President CESC Properties ltd which owns Quest Mall, elaborated, “We decided to make a place which give an experience rather than just an ordinary place for people to come and eat food. The designing elements, quality of the food, menu items and brands that we own are some vital factors contributing to growth of our food court.”
Thus, with conversion rate in food courts as high, malls generate multiple sales simultaneously. Along with anchors, these represent the factor that brings in assured footfalls, and no mall owner would risk making food court occupancy less tenable and attractive by increasing rentals. Hence, no matter how a mall is performing, food is never going to die.