4 Food and Beverage Basics for Mixed-Use Developments

Last week’s post introduced mixed-use developments to our readers including what they are and what makes them appealing to the modern person. With people wanting a more centralised life, the mixed-use development is perfect for those seeking to live, work and play in the same space as it satisfies the convenience factor, the liveability factor and the need for social connection with ease. 

A food and beverage strategy plays to all three of those factors making it a vital part of a mixed-use development plan. It aids in making a space convenient, allowing people to have access to their daily food and living needs at the bottom of the building. It boosts the liveability of a development, allowing people to do their pleasure seeking right where they live. And lastly, it satisfies every persons need for social connection in a world that is quickly moving to be predominantly online. 

Major retail giant, Westfield is expanding by adding residence to their already existing retail centres starting with a 1200-apartment project at Westfield Stratford in London (image via Wikipedia)

Let’s talk about the developer now - the asset owner who has their eyes on the figures. With a clever food and beverage strategy that plays to why people want to and do live in mixed-use developments, you anchor your development as a place to live, a place to open business and a place for non-residents to visit whether they be local to the area or purely visiting for the food and beverage offer. In simple terms, a clever food strategy that is carefully masterplanned can boost the asset value and ensure business growth into the future. 

So what do you put in a mixed-use development? What food and beverage outlets would make it a convenient, liveable and social building? We’ve put together a basic outline of what could go into these developments to ensure it meets success status for both the asset owner and the customer using it. 

The Store 

Residents and businesses require living essentials whether it be food, drinks, cleaning products or the last minute scramble for toilet paper. Whether it’s a store stocking local fresh breads, pantry items and other gourmet goods or a express chain store, the style of store you choose is the one that works for the customer group within the building as well as from the surrounds. 

Whole Food's Market, an everyday store offering residence local access to quality food and products (image via  Forbes )

Whole Food's Market, an everyday store offering residence local access to quality food and products (image via Forbes)

The Cafe 

Cafe culture is very strong, particularly in Australia and most people stop at their local coffee shop on the way to work for coffee, breakfast or even lunch to go. On top of that, weekend cafe dining is a major part of the hospitality industry with people spending an average of $20 per person at local cafes around the city (1). The cafe is how people catch up with friends on the weekend, it’s how those who don’t tend to cook get their breakfast and lunch during the work week and it’s a place people choose to spend money if the menu is interesting, the coffee is good, the price is right and space is enjoyable to be in. 

The Smart Casual Option

After a long day at work or for a long lunch on the weekend, the smart casual restaurant is where people go to splash out on food and get a hit of pleasure from the experience. More and more, people are seeking space to socialise and dine in as spaces get smaller and people are less inclined to cook for themselves. The person who moves into a mixed-use is likely to eat out more than they eat in so let them spend their food dollars within your precinct. 

Mr Burger pops up in Melbourne to quickly serve customers some of the best burgers in town (image via Concrete Playground)

The Activation Site 

The activation site can be the home to pop-ups, community markets or food trucks and allows for a space that can transform with the needs of the development as well as bring events and excitement to the area. Creating a community requires space to do so and being host to markets where locals from the area can come to boosts community morale and brings everyone together. Planning an activation site into a mixed-use development allows a calendar to be programmed that continues to strengthen the asset in a business sense as well as strengthen the community in which the development stands. 

As the density of our cities increase, more developments will need to fit the criteria for more than just a retail space or a business building. We are seeing the growth of cloud villages such as Westfield Stratford in London as well vertical university campuses and aged-care facilities around the globe. All of these require the service of a mall or retail precinct. The way the urban population lives is changing and today’s people are looking for convenience, social connectivity and access to amenities in one central location and they want it instantly, proven by the uprising of food delivery services and other delivery services for alcohol, medication and groceries. A food and beverage strategy is and will continue to be a major component of these developments with less people getting in the kitchen, more people seeking pleasurable experiences through food and needing a space to time out and reconnect with the people around them. 


Credits - Cover image via Saigoneer

1. http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/city-workers-shopping-eating-frenzy-sees-melbourne-cbd-spending-swell-to-3b-20170427-gvtt84.html