Time Out Media Finally Launches US Food Halls In 2019

The Lempert Report
December 11, 2018

It was about 4 years ago that we told you that Time Out – the media company – wanted to get into the Food Hall business. They launched a test in Lisbon and now they say they are ready to roll-out in Miami first, followed by New York, Boston, Chicago and Montreal.

Time Out’s food hall model is designed to become a destination and with their powerful media fueling the buzz it's a powerful combination and could propel to a global food hall player – they publish dining-and-entertainment guides in 108 cities in 39 countries with a monthly audience of 217 million.

Time Out’s food hall in Lisbon is 70,000+ square-feet had 3.6 million visitors in 2017, and 1.9 million in the first half of 2018 alone, an increase of 12 percent year over year, said Didier Souillat, Time Out Market CEO. It is also larger than the planned US halls. Miami is just 17,500 square feet. The market will be cashless and food will be served on “proper china,” with glassware and silverware, he said.

As we first reported, another unique twist is that the editors of the guides in each city have input in selecting the food vendors that go into the Time Out Markets so the “best players” that represent the local dining scene are selected, said the CEO.

The food hall growth is expected to skyrocket here in the US and the timing for Time Out is perfect and very chef friendly – the chef-restaurateurs are invited to open an outlet in the food hall for one year, which is renewable, in exchange for a percentage of sales.

“We actually make the deals with the chefs very simple, where we ask them to come in with an order taker, a couple of chefs, pots and pans and six or eight items for the menu that represents them well,” said Souillat. “We take care of everything else.”

A good model for grocerants to explore.