Shopping Center Business

MAY 2015

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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256 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • MAY 2015 Taquerias Mexican and Tex-Mex are among the most popular cuisines served in retail ven- ues. Most foodies (and we're growing in numbers) would not opt for Mexican in a mall. Generally, the flavors have been dulled to meet mass market palates and the menu selections represent the most basic types of dishes. Until now, there has been no visible emphasis on region spe- cific foods, heat-level choices or freshness of ingredients. Today, we are seeing more handmade tortillas, front and center, in small opera- tions as part of the eatertainment expe- rience. Additionally, regionally inspired recipes are finding their way onto once traditional menus and some insightful and adventurous operators are focusing their branding and food offerings on one spe- cific city, region or province of Mexico. Retail shoppers have become increasingly hungry for new food experiences and this sub-category is one where many are will- ing to try something new, and, hopefully, become devotees and habituees. OTher eThnic cuisines and cOnTenders Middle Eastern/Mediterranean cuisine has long been a popular choice for those who are hungry for something quick and easy. Falafels, shawarma, moussaka, ke- bobs and the like have been known to entice shoppers in more culturally diverse regions. But Middle Eastern has not only gone mainstream (note the über popular- ity of hummus), it has gone regional as well. Turkish spices and foodstuffs, if authentic, are quite different from their Greek counterparts. Of course, baklava is a universal favorite, but even this sta- ple has its variations from culture to cul- ture. The aromas that emanate from the kitchens of these cuisines can be hypnotic and a superb addition to any retail venue offering. Eastern Indian preparations and flavors have also grown into a staple of remark- able food environments. The Tandoori oven can add dramatic flair to most food venues, to say nothing of the flavors it coaxes from the meats and vegetables cooked inside. But arguably the real stars of this cuisine are the spices. Coconut milk curries, spicy red curries and every flavor variation in between makes Indian food among the most exotic. If you bring an Indian concept into your retail venue, with the right people it presents the pos- sibility of food as theater as well as a taste- bud satisfying magic carpet ride. Nutrition and health conscious food categories are growing in number ex- ponentially. From vegan wrap stands to salad concepts, there are shoppers who definitely don't want a trip to the shop- ping center to be a food based disaster for their cholesterol or their waistline. It is in this focused cuisine category where freshness of ingredients is the most im- portant and cannot be faked. Now that salads have integrated sexy new elements like kale and broccoli rabe, the discern- ing foodie will know in a nano-second if a vegetable's shelf life has expired. There Craftsmanship and quality are as important to many diners as they add to the experience. Here, a chef cuts freshly prepared soba noodles. Let us be the frst and last impression. 404.557.0482 NEW exclusive valet technology to promote Customer Loyalty and provide real tme data Creatve valet and parking management services specializing in retail operatons

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