When the general standard and thumb rule among developers is to keep 5 percent of the total space in malls for food retail, Prestige Group is rewriting that rule by not doubling, but more than trebling it. In the largest mall in Bengaluru, which opens on Thursday, more than 1.5 lakh square-feet of the one million square-feet area – that’s 15 percent – will be dedicated to F&B alone.
“If you add 75,000 square-feet area of the LuLu HyperMarket, which also has element of food retail, the total area for food retail is over 2 lakh square-feet,” says Muhammad Ali, CEO-Retail, Prestige Group, in a telephonic interaction on the eve of the opening of the new retail and entertainment address of Bengaluru.
“We have been developing malls since 2004. In all the previous projects, about 90 percent of the space was apparel and clothing, and the remaining 10 percent was divided between F&B and entertainment,” he says.
Malls, he says, was never considered to be a destination for dining earlier. People always preferred hi-streets for dining. However, the pandemic has changed that perception and Forum Falcon City Mall will be a reflection of that perception, he said.
“At Forum Falcon, there will be 40 different food options, the largest being the 25,000 square-feet microbrewery,” Ali said. Besides that, there will be a 1200-seater food court with 20 different kitchens. “These will be spread across all the floors,” he said.
Taking into consideration the sentiments of people with the food, Ali said that they have created a dedicated area for vegetarian customers with four to five brands catering to them specifically in a dedicated area.
Sharing other interesting aspects when it comes to food retail, Ali said that they have introduced a mobile application with barcodes on every table by which customers can book their orders on a centralised platform and make payments through digital payment gateway. The orders as it gets ready will be flashed on the mobile itself.
They have also created a dedicated zone for food delivery so that all their F&B partners can supply food to the customers outside. The registered online aggregators will have a dedicated entry and exit and parking area in the Mall without inconveniencing the visitors and guests to the mall. “We have worked out a different revenue sharing system with partners for online and offline food delivery,” he said.
Ali said that the mall has a dense and rich captive audience in south Bengaluru. “As it stabilises, we expect a footfall of about one million per month,” he signs off.