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06/04/2016 Blog by Conceptional

The right Food & Beverage mix in shopping centers

Food & Beverage has always played an important part in the shopping experience. Shopping malls are increasingly investing in appealing Food & Beverage concepts, to give guests a reason to return. In addition, a good Food & Beverage offer provides a longer dwell time, which is beneficial to the retail sales. But how do you create the right Food & Beverage mix?

Because of, among others things, the emergence of internet shopping, real estate companies and their operators notice a decrease in the number of visitors in their shopping centers. Most real estate companies encounter the same problem: low traffic, which results in too little sales opportunities. The main question they ask themselves is “how do we get the people back to the mall?” Food & Beverage may be a possible solution.


Food & Beverage is the new shopping. Where traditionally 7% of the total surface area (Gross Leasable Area (GLA)) of a shopping mall is allocated to Food & Beverage concepts, in the future this will increase to 15% to 25%. These findings were also established in, among others, research conducted by CBRE.

The guest is key

When creating the right Food & Beverage mix, it is important to look at the demographics. Ultimately, the key to a successful Food & Beverage offer is understanding who the visitors are and tailor the offer to their needs. Thus, the right mix of Food & Beverage in shopping centers strongly depends on, among other things, the location, the country and the size of the shopping center. What works in a large regional mall or shopping center will not necessarily be a profitable format in smaller local shopping centers.

The right Food & Beverage mix

The right mix of Food & Beverage anticipates to the needs of the guest. The needs and choices of the guest are strongly affected by international and national trends. Trends that are currently playing an important role are creating an experience, creating the right atmosphere, value for money and speed of service.

Based on the needs of the guest, the right Food & Beverage mix can be determined in terms of product range, service and pricing as well as a balanced offer of international, national and local Food & Beverage brands and concepts. Often, various Food & Beverage outlets are clustered into a food court to provide a fitting offer for every taste. In addition, the synergy between the different operators creates an overall impression of the variety and choice, which makes the food hub an attraction by itself.


In order to make operators as successful as possible, it is necessary to have a food offer that extends over multiple meal occasions. A flexible format is therefore highly desirable in order to guarantee an appropriate atmosphere and food offer during these different meal occasions. The atmosphere and the set-up for breakfast is quite different than for lunch, where the speed of service is often one of the most important needs of the guest. In the late afternoon and early evening a more relaxed atmosphere and food offer will be more fitting.


Dinner is an important meal occasion for restaurants. Guests are willing to stay longer, so their spending is often higher. However, the evening segment proves a challenge in shopping centers. A major attractor of traffic in the evening segment are leisure activities such as a cinema or bowling. Food & Beverage concepts which are situated near such a leisure activity are therefore more likely to fill the evening segment.

Ultimately, when creating the right mix of Food & Beverage concepts in shopping centers it is important to have a good understanding of the following:


1. Understand and provide insight into the needs of the guests

2. Aligning the Food & Beverage offer, leisure activities and services to the needs of the guests

3. Creating an attractive and suitable environment where the guests want to spend time and money


In collaboration with real estate companies and developers, Conceptional develops Food & Beverage strategies and visions for shopping centers. As part of this process, Conceptional offers space planning and the selection of suitable Food & Beverage brands & concepts. Conceptional also offers the possibility to act as a Food & Beverage broker.


During the development of a Food & Beverage concept, Conceptional keeps in mind the latest trends and developments in the foodservice industry. 


If you have any questions regarding this blog or are you interested in Conceptional’s projects? Feel free to contact us.

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