How Hospitality And The Customer Experience Are Revolutionising Our Retail Precincts


With the evolution of new-age, inventive food spaces such as cafe courts, roof top restaurants and food truck parks - it is clear that developers are looking for new and exciting ways to deliver the customer a range of dining options that keeps them coming back for more and keeps their development growing.

Shopping centres are becoming community spaces as opposed to the traditional shopping hub they once were. These spaces are purpose built for people to meet, eat and be entertained in. The industry has the opportunity to create developments that are usable and desirable to the modern customer. Our customers now have the world of shopping in the palm of their hands and hence are looking for that differentiating factor from the spaces they visit. To support this transition, food and entertainment within these spaces has and will continue to grow as an asset category as they provide the point-of-difference (POD), the customer experience and memorable hospitality that cannot be found on the web.


To ensure success of a shopping centre’s food precinct, food planners and leasing directors need to look to the future and address two key elements that are influencing hospitality success:

  1. Everyone considers themselves a foodie; 
  2. Everyone is eating out at cafes and restaurants more than ever before and the traditional food and beverage mix no longer cuts it. 

With more than 50% of customers now visiting shopping precincts to eat, it is more important than ever that these spaces are strategically created with the customer experience at the heart of it.

A successful food and beverage strategy is based upon first principles; this consists of giving your customer 70% of what they want and 30% of something new and different. It is not about size and how many food tenancies a precinct has but instead, it comes down to the clever curation of options that reach every type of customer. Projects that prove the success of this strategy include The Emporium Melbourne, Eastland, Westfield Miranda, Kotara and many more which are now grounded as dining destinations as opposed to just being about fashion and retail.

It’s about quality, creativity, authenticity and consistency coupled with a business plan that allows all stakeholders in the partnership to profit and succeed; these are the core principles from which all true hospitality experiences derive from. This coupled with the endless desire for social contact, precincts and shopping centres are well-placed to take full advantage of the 21st century emphasis on and need for human interaction that cannot be provided online.



In a world where people can now buy their fashion with the swipe of a finger, fashion retail is unable to draw enough positive growth for the stakeholders involved. Sustainability is now being ensured by implementing customer-centric and experiential food and beverage spaces that promote customer spending and return visitations by meeting their want for great hospitality experiences andalso human Interaction. Developers and landlords are securing second and third tier chef-concepts, local food heroes and new-to-market food mix with a strong point of difference to create places that are ‘destinational’.
Today’s consumers do not question the need to queue at the city’s newest or best cafe, restaurant or burger bar if they know they are going to be delivered a positive experience - something new and exciting, but not too different. These are the factors that must be considered and embraced by all developers, leasing consultants and food planners in order to create successful spaces that guarantee future growth.

About Francis Loughran
Francis Loughran is the Founder and Managing Director of Future Food, Australia’s premier global food and hospitality consultant. With over forty years in retail, food and hospitality, Francis understands consumer needs and aligns them with the spatial positioning of the projects he is working on.

Francis specialises in strategic planning of F&B precincts, trend analysis, cultural adaptation, transition strategies, spatial planning and design analysis of retail, commercial, leisure and mixed use developments around the globe.


Want To Know More?
Future Food’s Managing Director, Francis Loughran, in partnership with The Urban Developer will be presenting on this topic highlighting what it means to create a meaningful place and a positive experience for the empowered customer. He will take you on a journey around the world’s most successful retail precincts and provide insight into what, when, why and how these precincts emerged. He will be joined by a panel of leading retail developers, investors and experts making it a must-attend event for anyone involved or invested in the retail or consumer sector.


Limited Tickets Left!

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