For over 40 years I have been working in the foodservice industry, and for the last 3 decades I have been advising property developers, landlords and building owners and occupiers on “food”. The business has grown from a one man band to a highly respected part of the JLL Family and along with my incredible colleagues in the foodservice consulting business, we continue to support those same clients with great foodservice advice.
How wonderful it is to now see F&B in the headlines and becoming a mainstream topic. It has been “hot” for the last decade, but I remember some of the conferences and presentations my team and I gave in the early days when people laughed and said guests would never go to shopping centres for a “proper meal” and that retail was only ever going to be about fast food. There was, for a long time, a complete lack of acceptance that food and beverage offers needed to be planned and executed perfectly in shopping and leisure. In fact, we suffered the “any” syndrome for years. Any bit of space, anywhere in the centre, trying to attract any operator – thankfully those days are over!
Personally I am incredibly proud of the fact that for 30 years my team and I have been leading the charge for great Food and Beverage in shopping centres, from the very first imported food courts to the sophisticated, stylish and highly profitable “places for people” that we build today. The projects we have delivered have become the benchmarks for the industry and our personal relationships, professional trust and thought leadership continue to provide the industry stimulus needed. We love this business and it shows every day, in every way.
The stats are well known. The amount of foodservice in shopping and leisure has doubled in real terms in the last 10 years. This doesn’t even take into account outside the shopping centres in the towns and cities, which have seen even greater increases. It is continuing, but we are urging caution and care now, as it isn’t simply a question of “building more and they will come”. It is for these reasons that “Food and Beverage” is now being placed at the heart of industry conferences, exhibitions, seminars and learning programmes. This is, as we have said for years, a new Asset Class, and it needs a completely different approach. Words cannot describe how proud we are as a team to have played such a major part in this and to still be at the forefront today.
This is going to be a big year for JLL and food with the ICSC global food report (authored by JLL) due to be launched in March 2017 and the first ever ICSC dedicated food conference ‘Food for Thought’ taking place in Austin, Texas. We are also very proud to be the Food and Beverage Partner for MAPIC and MAPIC Italy. This demonstrates, more clearly than anything, that Food and Beverage is now at the heart of the property industry and is being taken really seriously. Our time has finally come…