10 Big Changes Happening Right Now in the Retail Food and Hospitality Sector

Is it possible that the modern lifestyle destination will drop the four-letter word M.A.L.L. as it reinvents itself as a mixed-use project? These spaces are now featuring food, hospitality, entertainment and other experiential asset-growth segments which expand beyond the four-letter word, mall. 

 Westfield Century City, Los Angeles who have  recently opened a major Eataly  outlet  image and cover image via PBS Engineers

Westfield Century City, Los Angeles who have recently opened a major Eataly outlet image and cover image via PBS Engineers

Looking across the world, it is clear that our shopping centres, malls, retail precincts - whatever you want to call them - are no longer single-purpose shopping malls, they are mixed-use projects offering so much more than product-focused retail. In a recent article posted on the blog, we delved into where the mall has come from and what it is going to be transformed into for the future and by no means will these developments be boring. We are going to see architectural spaces filled with experiences from brand pop-ups, food events and markets, interactive shopping and much more. 

Changing customer needs and behaviours bring new opportunities to our lifestyle destinations though food, hospitality and entertainment. The ever-changing demands of consumers is one of the biggest concerns our clients have, as they seek to tailor buildings, spaces and experiences fit for the modern lifestyle. Those consumer behaviours are constantly evolving. Reacting and responding to global trends and individual needs, consumers now demand a highly customised lifestyle. As people seek more ways to connect in real time and extend their social experiences, food is a big component of this. 

 A temporary outdoor cinema pops up at one of Melbourne's central shopping hubs,  QV image via Visit Melbourne

A temporary outdoor cinema pops up at one of Melbourne's central shopping hubs, QV image via Visit Melbourne

As advisors to the retail industry, we are witnessing a number of important changes in the sector:


  1. The shopping centre is now a food and hospitality destination.
  2. Vegan and vegetarian options are growing fast and Millennials are demanding quality and choice – fast food is no longer the go-to food.
  3. Fresh food markets, in the mall and outside of it, are continuing to grow in Australia and overseas.
  4. Entertainment will continue to grow as food and hospitality offers increase. 
  5. The evening economy is growing and will continue to do so.
  6. Home delivery for food will evolve and include more choices in beverages and desserts and tenancies will grow sales by focusing on home, office and venue deliveries.
  7. Fast food operators are elevating their offer to introduce table service.
  8. Quick service operators (such as Oporto, Grill’d) will offer alcohol as part of their strive to elevate service and maximise average spend.
  9. Department Stores are refocusing their offer to include food – food is their future, David Jones has earmarked a roll out across Australia’s ‘desirable’ suburbs.
  10. Beautiful spaces are now the norm, not the exception.

 by CHLOE, an Instagram-worthy vegan restaurant has just popped up at Covent Garden in London  image via by CHLOE

by CHLOE, an Instagram-worthy vegan restaurant has just popped up at Covent Garden in London image via by CHLOE

Understanding these changes means we can work closely with developers and retail masterplanners to ensure that the proposed projects are fit for the customer of today as well as the future. Ultimately, our aim as food and hospitality masterplanners is to create a customer-centric dining offer that helps a development achieve maximum gains. With food and hospitality becoming the anchor of these developments, carefully strategised food and hospitality masterplans will be increasingly pivotal to development success with leasing specialist JLL predicting that 20% of retail centre floorspace will be dedicated to food by 2025. So, who is planning your food and hospitality precinct? Contact us now to discuss your project with one of our food consultants.