A food court (also called food hall or hawker centre in Asia-Pacific) is a common area where the counters of multiple food vendors are present. It provides a common area for self-serve dinner.
Food courts are generally found in shopping malls, airports and parks. In various regions such as Asia, the America and Africa, it may be a standalone development which does not require any shopping malls, airports and parks. In some places of learning such as high schools and universities, food courts have replaced the concept of cafeterias.
Food courts consist of numerous vendors at food stalls or service counters. Meals are ordered at one of the vendors and then carried to a common dining area. The food may also be ordered and packed as a “takeout” for consumption at another location, such as a home, party or workplace. It may also have shops which sell prepared meals for consumers to take home and reheat, making the food court a daily stop for some people.
The best and the toughest aspect of being in a food court is the existence of other restaurants. It can steal your business and lower your profit. On the other hand it can make you look like a star amongst the others unless you know how to take your services from good to great! Follow these few things that will help you “stand out in the crowd”. Let’s have a look:-
- Friendliness – In a food court all other restaurants are doing the same i.e. being friendly. The staff is usually well trained and is all set to do the best while serving customers. However, they need to have something extra here in terms of friendliness. Being friendly does not mean you have to go all the way to anyone who is walking around and pester them with your menu. If your workers see someone coming to your restaurant, they need to greet them well with a smile. They should ask ‘What can I serve you today?’ They need to be expert to get the customer’s attention and divert them from other restaurants. Another great way to keep them from going anywhere else is speaking in soft tone and developing eye contact with the customers.
- Entertainment – Entertainment can include darts, TV, board games, chess, small bowling alley, football or absolutely anything that can be done while they wait so that they are not lost to another restaurants without even getting the opportunity to serve them. Providing entertainment to your customers will make them adjust when there is no available table, without any problem.
- Being different – The sustainability in the food court also depends upon the factor that how different you are from others or what different food you have to offer to your customer. Try making a menu which not only attracts customers but also makes you the sole restaurant serving a particular dish. This will help you in becoming famous not only in the food court but also amongst other people outside that.
- Take care of the customers – Don’t make the customers angry or unsatisfied with any of your services as customers tend to lose their cool pretty fast. Rather, they love attention and love to feel important. Always make some extra effort so that the customers visit you again and again.
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