Saturday, May 14

Not Your Daddy's Food Court

A hot trend in restaurants right now is the gourmet food court.  They're popping up all over the place -- at hotels, airports, and other premium high traffic areas.  I recently went to the Todd English one at The Plaza here in New York and tonight I stopped on my home from work at Foodparc located at The Eventi Hotel.
Foodparc is an incredible experience -- not your Daddy's Food Court.  Not a Mickey D's in sight.  There were only about 6 stations I would say, and you conveniently order from a central computer system right on a touchscreen.  You can order from one place or any combination.  Great little gourmet burgers, pasta, Asian, coffee bar, even micro-brew beers.  The food all looked amazing.  Oh, they send you a text message to your phone when the prepared-to-order food is ready.

I ordered the penne on top of flatbread.  Carb on carb, doesn't get any better.  I took it to-go and ate outside in the courtyard.  The food was perfect.

I think the gourmet food court trend is here to stay, if Foodparc is any indication.  Many of us are willing to pay more for healthier fast food that tastes great.

My only suggestion for improvement -- brand the take-out bags.  In Manhattan, it's all about the shopping bag because it serves as a free billboard as people carry their purchases home while walking the streets.  Can't tell you how many times I found out about a Paul Smith or Barney's sale from shopping bags!  For Foodparc, it's a touchpoint that would have added a bit more to an otherwise amazing brand experience (and a clever little piece of on-street advertising).

What's your experience?  Jim.


  1. You are such a brilliant marketer. Brand the bags.. of course. So obvious, yet they never thought of it and hadn't you written about it would have never entered my mind ... I'm really enjoying the Experience Effect and looking forward to "branding my brand"

  2. You are way too kind. But I am so happy to have you in my life ... huge huge benefit of social media and the way we live our lives today! Jim.

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