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Valued Partnerships will determine food retail recovery in shopping centres

A partnership approach to food and hospitality is vital – especially as we enter the recovery phase. Future Food’s close industry insights support an approach whereby landlords propel innovation with their food and hospitality retailers.

Landlords are demonstrating a new leadership on the way to recovery, built upon the strength of valued partnerships with their food and hospitality retailers.

Dining precincts and food retail drive social interaction

Hospitality is an experience that isn’t available online.
It is a social interaction with produce, brand and importantly place, that Centres and Retail Precincts are now in the driving seat to take advantage of during the recovery phase. As landlords, we must embrace our new role as a leader and innovator to create the platform for food and hospitality retailer success. Our future strategic direction will not be self-serving and will work toward a common goal. We must place the end customer at the centre of our reopening plan, built upon a clear understanding of the first principles of hospitality.

Tremendous examples of blue-sky strategy and innovation across Shopping Centres and Retail Precincts, both here and internationally, are in evidence. However, there is so much more that can be done to ensure a seamless return to the sense of purpose and the key role that shopping centre food and hospitality played pre COVID-19.

Westfield Campaign’s messaging helps customers understand it is safe

Any blue-sky strategy must be executed through enticing, safe and evolved dining spaces.

Future Food’s global insights confirm that Centres and Precincts are among the first choices as food and hospitality destinations, once restrictions have been eased. This success has been driven by Landlords taking a leadership role in innovation with their valued partners. Food and hospitality retail innovation has been driven though contactless and frictionless engagement for the end customer.

Vicinity Centre’s campaign to welcome back customers

Future Food is leading the way in providing independent, solutions-based strategy to Landlords, via our expertise in development of both commercial and food strategies.

Post COVID-19, these Landlord strategies include:
1. Positioning your Centre or Precinct’s food and hospitality capability, to reinvigorate end customer desire and confidence
2. Providing a Service Audit for food and hospitality partners, to ensure experience aligns with Landlord policies, including contactless and frictionless engagement
3. Ensuring Landlord’s food and commercial hospitality strategy is aligned to the ‘next normal’
4. Ensuring commercial space planning has been maximised for food and hospitality operators, including utilising non-GLA space
5. Ensuring your Centre’s volume of food and hospitality revenue is sustainable
6. Ensuring retailers are fit to operate by providing them with assessment and assistance programs
7. Determining your food and hospitality proposition profitability, including a realigned operator mix
8. Protecting your asset value and rental role, by providing food operator financial health checks where appropriate
9. Developing of a wellbeing strategy to assess and identify critical service risk and friction points
10. Modifying your Marketing campaign to reflect food and hospitality capability within a safe environment – GO SAFE, SHOW SAFE


About the author

Francis Loughran

Francis Loughran, specialising in Retail Food and Food Service Management, is the founding Director of Future Food and has been involved in the food service industry for 35 years. Francis has built a wealth of knowledge and experience in concept development, food service strategic planning, design, retailing and food service management.

His work has taken him around the world and includes a diverse list of projects, involved in the planning and development of waterfront developments, restaurants, cafes, food courts and fresh food markets along with food service solutions for restaurant precincts, stadia, airports, mixed-use developments, leisure and entertainment precincts and corporate office towers.

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