Food halls will struggle as states reopen businesses and some may close permanently, say industry sources. Over the long term, however, they should return to their pre-COVID-19 success.
Before the virus hit, there were approximately 226 food halls operating in the U.S., according to Phil Colicchio, executive managing director of Colicchio Consulting, the specialty food and beverage, hospitality and entertainment group at Cushman & Wakefield.
“Prior to the current health crisis, food halls were a growing trend that catered to a macro trend among consumers looking for more authentic and varied dining options, as well as more experiential and community elements,” says Scott Holmes, senior vice president and national director of the national retail group with brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap. “While there will be time needed, and perhaps some operating changes that will need to be implemented, we expect that macro trend to continue, making these retail centers attractive to consumers and investors alike.”