• Foodhalls: The resilient business model the restaurant industry needs

    As input costs continue to escalate and consumer habits change, margins in the traditional restaurant industry are being dramatically squeezed. The search for more resilient operating models is driving the resurgence of the foodhall, which offers both economies of scale and consumer appeal. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, the food service industry was grappling with rapid increases in input costs – including electricity, labour and rent – as well as stiff competition and a shift in consumer habits as on-demand delivery took hold and younger audiences sought new experiences.

    How Foodhall is making a change

    While plenty of traditional restaurants will undoubtedly continue to thrive, alternative models are coming to the fore. We believe the foodhall, a centuries-old format, is poised for a remarkable comeback, albeit with a modern twist. The business model is already proving its worth across the world’s food capitals. 

    Foodhall in Cape Town

    Later in this year, CHEFS Foodhall will open the country’s first owner-operated foodhall, in Cape Town’s Cavendish Square. With 2,000 square meters of floor space, it will compete for the title of the largest owner-operated hall in the world. With seating for 400 people, the marketplace-style eatery will offer a wide range of cuisines, along with a bar area and range of beverage options.

     By centralizing resources – including storage and refrigeration space, the food preparation area, fittings, equipment, and supply chains – the start-up and operating costs per kitchen in the foodhall will be significantly lower than for a standalone restaurant.  Award-winning restaurateur George Jardine, who has taken on the role of Culinary Director of the group and Executive Chef of the Cavendish operation, is leveraging his long standing supplier relationships to maximise local produce.

     Naturally, the modern foodhall requires a strong technology backbone. Visitors at the foodhall will be able to place at the point of sale  or via a dedicated app, which will reduce queueing times. All in all, the scale of the operation will allow CHEFS to provide quality and unique food – at affordable prices.

    *Supplied content By Campbell Stevenson, Managing Director CHEFS Foodhall

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    Fatima is the editor of Food&Home. Trained in English Literature and recipe development, she can be found eating her way through Cape Town armed with a cookbook in her bag and her camera at the ready.