Mall Food Court Franchise: Are They a Good Investment?

As any die-hard shopper knows, after a hard day’s work making decisions about purchases, it’s a good idea to take a well-deserved break and re-fuel. Typically, that means heading to the food court where there is a plethora of food options. If you are one of the many mall food franchise choices attempting to draw in hungry shoppers, you must find a way to stand out against the competition.

Pros and Cons of Food Court Franchise Opportunities

It may not be easy to attract shoppers to your location. As a mall food court franchise, you are nestled in a tiny space or kiosk competing against other popular quick-service restaurant brand names. It is a busy, active, noisy place with aromas of great tasting foods wafting through the air. Owning a mall food court franchise can be a tough business, for several reasons:

  • Your pricing must remain competitive
  • There are square footage limitations
  • Rent and utilities may be high-priced
  • You may have to minimize your menu options
  • Customers are easily distracted with choices
  • There are many other nearby restaurants
  • The mall dictates the hours of operation
  • You are dependent on foot traffic to turn a profit
  • Most customers are not specifically coming in to choose your brand

Making money in this arena is challenging. While your prices need to align with close-by competitors, you also need to ensure you can cover your overhead like rent, utilities, and payroll.

On the flip side, as a food court business, there are a few “pros.” Consider, for example, you don’t need to raise as much capital as you would with a stand-alone food franchise. Being part of the mall property itself, landscaping, parking, and maintenance are taken care of; those prices are most likely built into your rent and managed by mall personnel. You don’t need to do much marketing to attract customers, your appeal is to shoppers and mall employees. Plus, on mega-retail days like Black Friday, you stand to make a substantial profit.

Shop Around

However, over the last few years, the retail climate is seeing changes which could affect your bottom line. The jury is out regarding the ability of malls to attract customers.  As a mall food court franchise, your bread and butter is dependent on the mall attracting and ensuring steady foot traffic. Pre-pandemic, there was concern that the popularity of strip malls and indoor malls was waning. During the pandemic, fewer consumers shopped in person and instead turned to Amazon and other ecommerce retailers to make purchases. Although data shows business is picking up with in-person shopping opportunities, the economic ping-ponging may not be the stable investment opportunity you are hoping to make.

Stand-Alone and Stand-Out!

Having a stand-alone food franchise business may be a better long-term growth opportunity for you. It means you have more control over your location, including your proximity to competitors. Site selection can make all the difference in your profit margins. Attractive curb appeal in a high visibility area with easy access draws customers in. This increases your ability to generate higher volume which may convert to better overall sales.

Add into the equation the benefits of being part of a franchise. Your business enjoys brand recognition, a customer base thanks to the franchise standards, use of a proven business model, expert training, on-going support, and an effective marketing plan. With the impressive growth of the health food industry, anticipated to hit the $1 trillion mark globally by 2026, you can understand why SoBol is a thriving QSR franchise.

SoBol is an acai bowl and smoothie café that serves up a fresh, customizable menu. We keep things simple and focus on the important stuff like our customers and our franchise owners.

If you are ready to learn more about SoBol, fill out and submit our franchise form  and we’ll be in touch.