Friday, October 4th, 2019 October4th2019

Sell for More Trivia: What is a Virtual Food Hall?

Published on October 4th, 2019

Sell for More Trivia is a weekly blog series that playfully presents a trivia question about commercial real estate.


In a Virtual Food Hall guests order from multiple brands using a self-order kiosk, pay in one single transaction and receive their complete meal quickly.

How is a Virtual Food Hall different from a traditional Food Hall?

A traditional urban food hall has large open spaces where guests can enjoy a variety of cuisines in a hip atmosphere. Traditional food halls have a long history of success in Europe and metropolitan areas, with a recent explosion in U.S. cities.  They present advantages and disadvantages for both guests and operators.

On the plus side, guests can try multiple restaurants in one location, and operators can reduce their overhead cost by utilizing the shared physical infrastructure. However, this experience can be challenging for those looking to try multiple options or order/pay for a group with different tastes…as that would require each guest to wait in a separate line, pay and receive their meal at a different time.  The Traditional Food Hall model is not ideal for groups wishing to dine together.

The Virtual Food Hall was designed to give guests a more convenient way to enjoy items from multiple concepts and dine with others.

Notice the use of a kiosk ordering system.  In my opinion, this is the future of fast food and fast casual.  The kiosks show each ingredient and all the signature dishes are photographed to be viewed in the high-resolution display.  Guests are able to browse through the offerings within each menu easily, see the allergen and ingredients of each dish, put everything in one cart, pay at the kiosk and receive a text when their order is completed.

The concept could certainly live online only – however, the brick and mortar food halls are a great space where guests can enjoy their meal, socialize, or work remotely.

For some guests, the idea of ordering through a kiosk without any human interaction can be intimidating. Virtual Food Halls eliminate that fear by staffing the hall with a “kiosk concierge,” one employee who helps to oversee the dining room and as well as assist guest who may be apprehensive through their ordering process.

And let’s not forget…they deliver.  Approx. 60% of sales are consumed outside of the restaurant including take-out, delivery, and catering.

Virtual Food Halls enhance the guest experience with more choice, accuracy of ordering, speed of service and a dine-in option.  And I think any model that allows restaurant operators to lower their upfront costs and their ongoing overhead is a big win because “food” is a very difficult business to be in.


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About Beau Beach, CCIM

Beau is a tenacious Commercial Real Estate Broker, author and adoring father of four. His clients appreciate his no-nonsense demeanor and his legendary work ethic.

Beau leads Beachwood which is a commercial real estate broker for sellers in the Nashville, Milwaukee, South Florida and Chicago markets.

He’s the author of the books The 3 Reasons: Why Most Commercial Properties Don’t Sell and True Wealth: What Every Seller Should Know About 1031 Exchanges.

Beau can be reached at 800-721-3287, click to schedule a call or