Mall food courts remain popular and cheese steaks are sought-after tenants
Retail shopping malls have evolved in the past few years and some are thriving, changing to meet new consumer demands. In particular, food courts remain popular in malls with workday traffic. Food courts are destinations in themselves, and Great Steak fills a high demand niche for a hot specialty sandwich — something beyond pizza, burgers, cold subs and Chinese food.
Within mall food courts, a Great Steak location has potential to draw traffic and has become an in-demand tenant for many malls. Customers love watching the theater as a cook makes each cheesesteak, and an authentic sandwich made with real Philly ingredients is a popular lunch choice, standing out in a busy market full of routine choices.
Food courts are on the rise and malls are taking care to seek out tenants who make the food court experience less routine, more fun and memorable.
Food courts cater to steady foot traffic
“The whole idea behind a food court was to keep those mall customers on site, and that hasn’t changed,” says Kari Combs, Great Steak’s Vice President of Operations. “Now, with many malls offering other services beyond traditional retail, there’s still a need for quality, convenient on-site dining options. That’s where Great Steak is a solid fit.”
Because a Great Steak cheesesteak franchise can easily be placed in a food court as well as a standalone site, thanks to its adaptable footprint, getting one into place is a straightforward process. And because malls offer a steady stream of customers all day long, they remain a desirable location for franchise owners, Combs adds.
Strong consumer approval = a valuable tenant
“These commercial properties are very interested in having a Great Steak cheese steak franchise onsite, because they know what a high-quality brand it is,” Combs says. “They are looking for tenants with a good business history, as well as ones who focus on creating a positive customer experience that will build return business.”
Great Steak checks off all those boxes and more. With a simple, easy to follow menu that still offers many choices, it’s easy for diners who already know they want cheese steak. The visitors then interact with staff while seeing their food prepared in front of them, something consumers also say they value. “And because many people are passing through, they see and hear these interactions, and become interested in having a Great Steak experience of their own, so the business can build upon itself,” Combs says.