Location is crucial to the success of food. Where people work, live and gather creates the demand for food and hospitality.
Balancing the right food and beverage mix is crucial in creating a sustainable development and delivering memorable experiences for the project’s residents along with the rest of the local community.
The key to planning food and hospitality in mixed-use developments is to imbed food and beverage into the planning from day one because food is crucial to complete the amenity.
While the residential and commercial is where the effort is focused initially from a business case perspective, food and beverage will boost the buildings’ appeal and bring the project to life by helping to turn great architecture into great places.
It is vital to locate, design and make fit-for-purpose each food tenancy in line with the overall positioning statement of the project and its building.
Food tenancies require specifically designed spaces ranging from grease traps, extraction, water and gas to three-phase electricity. Is it imperative that these “boring” bits are incorporated into the design at the earliest possible moment.
By planning ahead and thinking of the project as more than just the sum of its parts will help developers avoid incorrect adjacencies—the most extreme example would be to have the bar next to the child care centre.
In addition, always speak with local food operators to hear their opinion and to gauge their interest in the project.
It is also vital to always aim to secure a marquee food operator because food and beverage is no longer a service: it is an anchor.
It will define the building’s profile within a neighbourhood. That anchor should be one that will have wide market appeal and in turn will be a catalyst to attract other food operators—all with different cuisines and service styles—to create a special precinct.
The determination of the food and beverage concepts will be driven by understanding the demographics of the primary audiences.
This then defines a wide variety of components for the precinct: the spend, day parts, trading days and hours, licensed, alfresco, business use from Monday to Friday and social spaces seven day a week.
Developers need to understand what are the special needs of the local community, residents and office workers.
With the boundaries between family life, social life and work being reduced, the built environment must adapt and offer greater flexibility and efficiency.
Food is one of life's pleasures and while food and hospitality cannot always tick all the boxes for all of the people, all of the time, when strategically planned it can create a true point of difference.
The Urban Developer is proud to partner with Future Food to deliver this article to you. In doing so, we can continue to publish our free daily news, information, insights and opinion to you, our valued readers.