food halls on the rise - a miami beach snapshot (1)

May 13, 2022

During recent business trips to Miami, I discovered three food halls which are located relatively close to each other in Miami Beach. This is why I visited them all to have a more detailed and professional look at them. I discovered that the overall concept resonates very well with current social and economic developments and is thus most likely here to stay. Moreover, the Miami metro area has shown strong and international development dynamics during the last decades, so proven concepts surely have a radiant effect. So, my prediction is that we will see many more of those ‘all-under-one-roof hospitality concepts coming.

Alton Food Hall Miami Beach

The Food Hall Concept

Food halls are privately managed lively communal spaces with the option to order food and drinks from different attached hospitality vendors and consume it in designated areas. These concepts remind of modern canteens, offering local and international hospitality experiences under one roof. Food halls are designed to give vendors both the opportunity to run a ghost kitchen for online delivery but also to provide them with access to walk-in traffic guests. Guests can order and pay at central kiosks, directly at each vendor or online. Pick-up takes place either directly at a specific food and beverage vendor or at a central pick-up station, while the consumption takes place in nicely designed high quality community areas, both indoors and outdoors.

food hall interior

The Food Hall Epicenter Miami Beach

The three food halls I discovered in Miami Beach all share a similar idea. Let us therefore have a closer look at:

They all can be found within a circle of less than 1 mile in central areas, where the potential guest frequency is relatively high. The services provided for clients by all three food halls are open indoor and outdoor eating areas, lounge areas, a central bar area complemented by shared restrooms, and a central cleaning and security service approach. Facilities for the food vendors are standardized and optimized in terms of size and can be slightly adapted to individual cooking needs. This architecture in combination with the design of the communal dining area is setting the frame for the overall concept that is supported by a strong branding approach. In addition, individual name branding helps the vendors to strengthen their reputation and to differentiate from fellow-tenants. Opening hours range from 8 am until 12 am, depending on the weekday and the property, but guaranteeing breakfast, lunch, coffee, and dinner options.

kiosk for ordering and payment at food hall in Miami Beach

Why Food Halls Are Booming

My research has shown that food halls fit very well into the current economic climate, offering F&B (food and beverage) vendors a chance to offer and market their products in a cost-effective environment and enabling clients to consume a wide range of local and international products at reasonable prices in an appealing setting. From a structural point of view, food hall concepts can be relatively easiliy integrated and tailored in vacant central properties, which are also a side effect of the recent pandemic. Food halls also ideally support the craving for social interaction in a communal setting after the isolation during the pandemic, and offer extended business hours to attract a relatively big target group. In addition, food halls support current social trends: All three food halls described above are located centrally in city center areas, are easily reachable with public transportation, are also accessible for handicapped and elderly clients and are to a certain extend digitalized businesses. The food and beverage options are produced in a fresh and transparent way and offer a big variety of green, vegetarian and vegan options.

lively setting in a food hall in Miami Beach

Key Success Factors And Further Opportunities

To make food halls a lasting success, food halls have to improve the customer experience steadily. Current experiences offered are unique interior designs, a fashion boutique, access to a rooftop bar, a video wall, and special under the roof events like pop-up shopping, comedy events, DJ entertainment, and public viewing of sports events. It is, however, key to further activate the innovation potential of the current ecosystem (including partners, suppliers, guests). Additional value can be added by improving customer loyalty to keep clients or by offering complementing experiences to attract new clients. Here you can think of hosting a special event series or renting space for parties during extended business hours.

Get in touch to learn more about food halls or have questions around how to improve your performance in hospitality investments. viabledesign’s mission is to shape business models to the current demand.

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