In May 2022, a new restaurant concept called CHEFS Foodhall will launch at Cape Town’s Cavendish Square shopping centre.
Campbell Stevenson, the managing director and co-founder of CHEFS Foodhall, says consumers are looking for new dining experiences, and are being drawn towards those that offer inviting social settings and well-priced, creative food. In response, new business models have started to emerge across the globe. One of them is the food hall – a modern take on a centuries-old format, where local community members and tourists gather under one roof to socialise while indulging in a range of cuisines.
Time Out, the magazine focused on travel and experiences, became an unlikely pioneer of the food hall concept in 2014. Its Portuguese team opened a food hall in Lisbon’s historic Mercado da Ribeira building, with an assortment of chefs and food offerings. The next year, the market attracted 2 million visitors.
Campbell wants to bring this same concept to South Africa. “Our concept for CHEFS is to be a brand similar to Timeout and Eataly with food halls in multiple locations. The customer experience of the food and ordering is centralised so you can order from any station and collect at the designated food location. Additionally, you can order at the counter or through a QR code or via the CHEFS app.”
There will be 10 different kitchen stations offering a global menu including a dedicated treats bar. The drinks offering will include two different bars, one serving coffee and juices and the other featuring a range of local and international spirits. The various kitchens and cuisines will be headed up by different chefs responsible for their menu offering, but there will be an executive chef who will be responsible for the overall curation and running of the food hall. Guests can look forward to a variety of food, from heirloom pizza and burgers to Japanese-style and Asian fusion as well Mediterranean and seafood grill options.
Campbell says that the resurgence of the food hall concept is being driven by those who prefer experiences over material goods and who value inclusive spaces. “We believe that consumers are looking for new dining experiences and are being drawn towards those that offer inviting social settings and well-priced, creative food. Market-style eating is the restaurant of the future. According to the Food & Drink Futures 2020 report by The Future Laboratory, as many as 55% of millennials prefer to eat at communal tables.”
CHEFS Foodhall will adhere to all Covid-19 protocols and regulations and will keep a strict number control at the door.