Broadway Malyan Chairman Stuart Rough believes that the UK and Europe can learn a lot from the Chinese approach to shopping centre dining.
By Stuart Rough
Food is, to put it simply, something that matters. For those of us involved in designing shopping centres, there are very interesting questions to be asked about the role, power and requirements of in-mall dining.
In Asia, food and dining are frequently a much more significant part of the space and mix. Food is a destination, and in China for example, ratios are frequently double European levels and even as high as 40% of total space in one project we are designing.
Asia – and China in particular – is very different in terms of the quality of dining format and experience. And alongside the focus on quality, there is also a tremendous variety of offer.
Owners are using food as a key differentiator in a competitive market and so designing great dining spaces and having a quality food offer is making the difference between centres that are succeeding and those that are struggling.
Food is also fundamental in making malls family destinations and that is what developers want.
I would expect to see some of this thinking coming across to the UK and Europe. Great food paired with great design is always an attractive combination in my opinion.
These comments were initially used by Estates Gazette in its Retail and Leisure Supplement (5 September 2015).