June 19, 2013: Food Halls

In some areas, food trucks are still new enough that it seems ridiculous to call them “old.” But that’s exactly what food magazine Bon Appetit did in its June issue. The magazine didn’t declare food trucks dead by any means, but did label them “so last year.” And it proclaimed, “food halls are the new food trucks.”

Not to argue with Bon Appetit, but I’d say food halls are more accurately a new, upscale version of food courts, which were once ubiquitous in malls and strip centers across the county. The difference is food courts were mainly populated by franchise outlets and independent versions of fast-food outlets, while food halls are, according to the magazine, “renovated culinary temples…luring artisanal producers, specialty purveyors and high-end dining spots.”

This trend is great news for foodie entrepreneurs since food halls (at least the ones featured in Bon Appetit) are popping up in some of the nation’s biggest cities. The venues are already open in Seattle; Washington, DC; Cleveland; Chicago; New York City; Southern California and Philadelphia. Others are bound to open soon as the trend spreads.

If you make artisanal food, check the food halls in your city or find out if a food hall is coming to your area anytime soon. You’ll want to get in on this trend now, since we don’t know if food halls will be a passing fancy or stick around as long as Boston’s Faneuil Hall, which opened as a meeting place and marketplace in 1742.

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at rieva@smallbizdaily.com, follow her on Google+   and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.


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