Food courts, reinvented!
Hatted chefs, international restaurant groups and home-grown hospitality heroes are turning a shopping expedition into an experience. Here’s where to eat in the city’s newly fashioned dining precincts.
The biggest trend in food right now isn’t happening in restaurants; it’s in shopping centres. Once known simply as food courts, the newly rebranded “dining precincts” bring together collections of restaurants “curated” to become destinations in their own right, not just pit stops for tired shoppers.
As Australia’s population grows, apartments shrink and it becomes increasingly difficult for restaurants to make a profit, shopping centre dining may be a glimpse into how we’ll be eating in the future.
Throughout Asia, dining in shopping centres has become a way of life. Upscale shopping centre Emporium in the city can be credited with re-inventing our notion of the food court when it opened in April 2014.
Others have quickly followed, including Glen Waverley shopping centre The Glen, which introduced an indoor-outdoor dining precinct last August as part of a $430 million makeover, and south-eastern behemoth Chadstone, which now has four dining areas and even an on-site hotel, where hatted chef Scott Pickett opened ground floor restaurant Pastore last November.
This is typical of all of the shopping centres which boast venues ranging from high-end bars and street food concepts to international restaurant chains and celebrity-chef-led venues.
Stuart MacLeod Smith from GPT Group (the developers behind Melbourne Central and ELLA, a 2500-square-metre dining precinct that opened next to Melbourne Central last year), says reinventing the food court is part of creating a “third place” for people to spend time outside work and home.
“Unlike retail, you can’t buy the experiences you get at a shopping centre online,” he says. “These experiences are based around leisure, entertainment and food and beverage, so we’re making a shift towards providing these experiences to our customers.”
Centres come up with project and leasing strategies, look at who’s best in class, then work with consultants to find the right mix of tenants.
It’s a great time to leverage this shopping centre popularity, get in touch today on 1300 236 242 to find out more about how Pivot Place is now using cutting edge digital systems to advertise your products or services in heavily populated spaces.
Original article: Food Courts Reinvented – www.scca.org.au