Shopping Centers Today

APR 2018

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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20 S C T / A P R I L 2 0 1 8 S T O R E F R O N T S proud of," said Hudson. Malls are also using food kiosks to help differentiate their food offerings. "That is a good thing for the mall world, because malls got a little too cookie-cutter in terms of how they were being tenanted," said Cummings. Kiosks are also a less expensive way to differentiate the centers them- selves, given that most food court spaces range from 300 to 1,000 square feet, while kiosks typically max out at about 250 square feet. "That is intriguing, especially for startup com- panies that might not be flush with capital," Cummings said. Ironically, though, in another sense, cost remains one of the biggest hurdles to the introduction of food kiosks. Most municipalities enforce strict health code requirements for food-re- lated businesses. Food-and-beverage kiosks require water, sinks and electri- cal connections, and some might also require a grease trap. This, of course, would tend to restrict their locations to spots where there are water and electri- cal hookups, as well as adequate space for food storage and preparation. "Some municipalities will have such onerous health code restrictions that it is very costly to meet those require- ments," said Sharon Loeff, founder and president of Shopworks, a Scottsdale, Ariz.–based design and consulting firm. Most health codes will require a kiosk that serves food to have a three-compartment sink for washing, rinsing and sanitizing dishes and uten- sils, as well as a hand-washing sink and a mop sink, Loeff says. Loeff recently worked on the design of an in-line candy store that was exploring a kiosk. It turned out that even a bulk candy kiosk would require a three-compart- ment sink, and the sinks would need to be large enough to accommodate the bulk candy bins. "Most people don't think of a candy store as having such crazy restrictions," said Loeff. Though such challenges may not be insurmountable, they can be expensive. The cost of building even a basic food-service kiosk might range somewhere from $35,000 to $75,000, depending on the type of equip- ment required, notes Loeff. "That immediately eliminates some of the newer, hotter trends, because people are cautious about spending that kind of money for something that is unknown," she said. Despite all this, such franchises and chains as Auntie Anne's, Cari- bou Coffee and Jamba Juice can still afford to roll out kiosks, because they are able to spread out the costs over multiple units. For others, especially for concepts with leases that run for less than three years, affordability is a major problem. "There is an absolute desire on the developer's side to bring in these unique food uses," said Loeff, "but it is a little bit of a slippery slope." n (817) 731-0020 WLS L I G H T I N G S Y S T E M S ICSC RECON

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