Food Halls/ Virtual Food Halls

The idea of having a public space allocated for the sale of food products is as old as civilization itself, starting with open air markets in the streets. Street vendors selling already prepared food came along sometime later, but remain popular to this day. Hot dog stands and food trucks are popular across the world, and have been for quite some time. However, having a number of restaurants and food vendors all grouped together inside of a building is a relatively new concept that can be argued to have started with food courts. Generally, food courts are an indoor plaza within a larger facility that contains multiple food vendors and a common area for customers to sit and eat as well. The first of these food courts was built in a Toronto shopping center in the early nineteen seventies, and soon after they became ubiquitous worldwide in every shopping center and mall across the globe. As shopping malls have become less popular, so have food courts. They have been usurped by something called food halls instead. Food courts typically contain a number of fast food chains like McDonalds, Burger King, or Subway. Food Halls, on the other hand, typically contain a mixture of artisanal local restaurants, butcher shops, and other food selling businesses like bakeries. Food halls originated several decades ago in the United Kingdom, and are typically found there within a specific section of department stores. Outside of the United Kingdom, and sometimes within it, food halls are often …