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Foodcourt adds flavour to Growel’s 101 Mall

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Sandeep Kumar
Sandeep Kumar
A multimedia journalist with over eleven years of experience in print and digital media, Sandeep Kumar is assistant editor with Images Group. Books, retail, sports and cinema are an inextricable part of his life.

Launched in the year 2010, Growel’s 101 is India’s first theme-based mall with a space of 7.5 lakh sq. ft. located in the suburb of Kandivali, Mumbai. It is extremely popular due to the kind of retail mix, F&B and entertainment it provides to the catchment it caters to and is known for bringing the local community together with its community-based events,conducted on a regular basis.

“Growel’s 101 is gaining popularity among the Millennials due to its catchment. The architecture of the mall backed by the open space, theme and F&B has developed a connection with the customers as they crave for such offerings in a city like Mumbai,” says Vikas Shetty, Mall Head, Growel’s 101.

Keeping the popularity and demand of FECs in mind, Growel’s 101 is fully focusing on its food court, fine dining and entertainment to ensure more footfalls in the mall.

Importance of F&B in Malls

In the past couple of years, the dining out culture in the country, especially amongst the Millennials, has changed radically. Millennials that consists of approximately 65 percent of the country’s population have brought in a disruption within the F&B industry because of their lifestyle and high spending power. As per reports, 34 percent people in India eat out between two to three times a week, while 27 percent eat once a week. Another 11 percent eat out thrice or more a week, while 12 percent love to eat out daily. The remaining 16 percent eat out once a week or even occasionally. This analysis proves the importance of F&B in retaining/ recalling the customers to the shopping centres and how this, in turn, helps to improve the dwell time which further improves trading numbers.

“The importance of F&B has already been witnessed in shopping centres in developed countries, with the allocation of space for F&B increasing from 15 percent to now 35 percent over the years. In India, newer centres have already started allocating 20 percent to 25 percent of GLA to F&B and operational centres are increasing the allocation to 12 percent to 18 percent of GLA. Malls are no longer perceived as shopping destination only.

They are the centre for family outings, socialising, place where people can shop, relax and unwind with family and friends. This means along with brands, malls need to have the right mix of F&B and leisure players to be called as Family Entertainment Centres for the masses. Also, with the success of e-commerce, retailers had to evolve into experiential centres and food courts, cafés, fine dine restaurants and casual bars play a fundamental role in this,” explains Shetty.

The USP of Growel’s Food Court

Growel’s 101 has a centrally located food court on the top level, which is accessible from all the ends of the mall. The unique design allows visibility and easy accessibility for all the outlets equally. With the right blend of international, regional and local brands, the mall offers a maximum variety of cuisines and choices which cater to customers across segments and age groups.

“We keep running unique offers for our customers which are beneficial to our customers and F&B brands as well. For eg: we have ‘Thoosday’, which has a unique offering of ‘flat 40 percent off’ on 70 percent menu items of participating brands. This gives an additional reason for the customers to plan their visits on a weekday and also allows the outlets to maximize on a weekday sale,” says Shetty.

A Perfect Food Court

There are many factors which make Growel’s 101 food court the perfect destination for mallvisitors. These include:

VISIBILITY: The visibility of food outlets is extremely important.
The counters and kiosks need to be clearly visible to planned as well as impulsive customers. It is advisable not to have any kind of pergolas or artificial structures in the food court.

TRAFFIC MOVEMENT: Food courts generally receive heavy footfalls throughout the day,especially during lunch and dinner. No one prefers to eat in a crowded place. This means expected footfall needs to be considered before designing the pathways and amenities.

SERVICES: Services like HVAC, electrical points and plumbing need to be planned at full occupancy and considering new options in the future. No one prefers to eat in a food court with cooling or exhaust issues. This means the number of footfalls and occupancy level is also considered before planning the services.

SHAPE: Food courts can be of various shapes such as square, oval and so on. Considering the number of operators and depending on the number of visitors, the shape of the food court should be planned. The shape to a great extent decides the visibility for the brand, seating and movement.

Kiosks & QSRs: The Other Contributors

Kiosks, QSRs or small food joints help in lengthening the shoppers’ stay in the mall.

“The better the facilities and menus, the longer shoppers stick in a mall. Everyone prefers to munch on to something convenient and easily accessible without straying too far away from stores. People also prefer checking out more brands and products as they are eating from these kiosks. The longer they stay, the more they are inclined to shop and the better the chances tenants making a sale / multiple sales. All this converts into a better revenue share. Eating joints at a single location or floor might give shoppers a reason to leave the mall early due to the crowd, therefore we have placed them on different floors to avoid such situations,” says Shetty.

Some of the unique ways in which the mall retains consumers include:

THOOSDDAY: A unique weekly food property which has never been done or implemented at any of the other malls, the term ThoosDay is a play on the words Tuesday and Thoos, a Hindi word meaning to literally stuff yourself. It is one of the mall’s major highlights. Strategically held on one of the weakest days for retail i.e. Tuesday, ThoosDay provides a delightful break from the mundane routine that one gets into at the beginning of the week. Be it a work lunch with colleagues, a mid-week date, an after-school break for parents and kids, a birthday party or a college group celebration, ThoosDay gives people to embark upon a delightful gastronomic journey on Tuesdays at Growel’s 101. Visitors can avail a flat 40 percent discount on over 70 percent of menu items offered from by participant brands at the food court.

Post the launch of ThoosDay, the mall witnessed 58 percent increase in Tuesday Food Court revenue numbers vs previous year for the same period.

ENJOY 1 ON 1: Another unique initiative by Growel’s 101, Enjy 1 on 1 has become extremely popular among consumers. It is a simple offer which registered itself in minds of consumers.
The concept of ‘Happy Hours’ is not a new idea and is more prevalent in resto-bars, pubs, etc. Usually it is restricted to adult consumers who buy alcoholic drinks.

“We introduced this concept at a food court and made it accessible to the friends and family crowd as well. To make it more widespread, we introduced it as a bi-weekly event property instead of a weekly offer. So, every Tuesday and Thursday 3pm to 7pm one can choose over 200 delicacies from a variety of cuisines from participating brands and avail buy 1 get 1 offer (multiple choices available whilst choosing the second item). Contribution towards weekly food court revenue numbers grew by 40 percent for Tuesdays and by 43 percent on Thursdays. It also saw an average growth of 20 percent YoY in revenue numbers for participating brands on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” explains Shetty.

Services Provided at the Food Court
As of now, Growel’s provides free Wi fi to its visitors. They are also in discussion with on-demand entertainment platforms which enable consumers to access relevant content at super-fast speed.

Allotting Space to Brands Growel’s has a strategic model for allotting space to the food brands in their mall. They look at the following factors:

BRAND PRESENCE: The first factor is the popularity and presence of the brand. The mall finds out about the kind of presence the brand has in the market in terms of operational outlets and future expansion (future expansion purely to understand where the brand is heading). The mall also likes to understand the radius at which the brand will open another outlet so as to implement a radius restriction clause to ensure another outlet nearby doesn’t impact revenue share over a period of time.

BRAND PERCEPTION: Brand perception is the other key factor. It is very necessary to focus on the quality of the brand on grounds of price, services offered and hygiene.

FINANCIAL CREDIBILITY: This is another crucial factor as every business wants to make money. No matter how big the brand is, but if there are payment issues then it won’t make sense taking a partnership further.

CATCHMENT SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT: The mall is located in Kandivali where a large percentage of the catchment prefers vegetarian food, hence we strategically put vegetarian food on the menu. The food court at Growel’s has 60 percent pure veg/Jain food operators and 40 percent nonvegetarians serving ones.

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