Housed among the centre’s various shopping outlets, Eat Street features nine eateries spanning a range of cuisines and dining occasions. Visitors can choose from traditional Japanese Izakaya at Ichiro, sustainable dining at Norwood Café, Korean fried chicken at Gami Chicken & Beer, Mexican street food at Rosa Mexican, among others.
Felicity Armstrong, general manager of assets at Frasers Property Australia, told Inside Retail that Burwood Brickworks has been designed to act as a community hub, and that this diverse range of dining and dessert venues will boost that element.
“We want Eat Street to be the go-to dining destination in Burwood and the surrounds, and a place that brings the community together through its broad offering. We wanted to curate a full experience for guests to enjoy for day and night for midweek family dinners, hanging out with friends, a pre- or post-movie feed and anything in between,” Armstrong said.
Foodie retail flourishes
Foodie retail offers like Eat Street are commonplace in shopping centres globally and are going from strength to strength as consumers seek more social interactions post lockdown.
“We are social animals, who need human connection,” Sean Byrne, group director of Retail and Commercial at ThomsonAdsett, told Inside Retail.
“Our Covid-impacted world will flock back to restaurants and bars as socialising, in every culture, is centred around eating and drinking together. This will see hospitality flourish post-pandemic.”
While Covid-19 has undeniably impacted dining habits globally, prompting food and hospitality businesses to add convenient services such as drive-through, pick up and contactless delivery, traditional dine-in options are bouncing back, according to Byrne.
“People are missing the dining out experience and want to engage, to see and be seen. There will be a return surge to restaurants and the dining experience once the pandemic restrictions ease,” he said.
Byrne expects market halls and precincts, such as London’s Borough Market, will spring back and the “perennial international foodie cities” and regions, such as San Sebastian, Bologna, Tuscany, New York, London, Paris, Singapore and Tokyo will remain popular.
“Destination precincts such as Eat Street and Hawker Lane style tenancies will remain popular. Other precincts include Higher Ground in Melbourne, The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney and The Collective on the Gold Coast. Further to this we will see a stronger presence of experiential dining such as dining in the dark concepts and dine and play such as Holy Moley arcades,” he said.
Authenticity is key, but it has to look good
Authenticity has become increasingly important to consumers in recent years and will also be a driver in the development of global foodie precincts.
“The consumer demand for farm-to-table, farmers’ markets, craft beer gastropubs with onsite brewing, hawker lanes and integrated dining and retail locations will grow,” Byrne said, pointing to the successes of Mildreds in London, The Farm at Byron Bay and Living Farm Café in Colorado.
He also expects stronger demand for integration of restaurants and food retail offerings. The recent launch of Romeo’s Retail Group European-inspired food hall and dining experience in Sydney’s CBD taps into this trend while also bringing ‘market style’ to the fore.
“It provides an extra and stable revenue stream with lower staff requirements,” Byrne said of this model. “Brisbane’s New Farm Deli is a prime example of this in Australia, as is the Eataly franchise at a larger-scale international example.”
And with the rise of social media and influencer marketing, the pressure is on to deliver on design.
“Designers will be charged with creating Instagram spaces, such as The Gallery at Sketch in Mayfair London, The Gaucho in London, The Ivy (UK and US), Le Caprice and The Wolseley,” he said.
A fresh focus on premiumisation in grocery is expected to be helped by the rise of in-home cooking and experimentation during the pandemic. These consumers will be looking for more quality produce and products, similar to those delivered by upmarket supermarkets like Waitrose in the UK and Brickworks, Byrne explained.
“[Premium supermarkets] will move more into the spotlight as we see a continual interest in local, quirky and exquisite produce.”
With CBDs still experiencing disruption due to the mass exodus of office workers, many retailers are seeing the benefits of moving further afield.
“Many of these precincts are in city fringe light industrial areas, such as the expanding BrewDog in Brisbane, which is soon to also arrive in Sydney and Melbourne,” Byrne said.
“It looks like Burwood Brickworks is picking up on a lot of these trends, which you wouldn’t typically see in a planned centre.”
In terms of trending cuisines, Byrne sees a stronger trend towards Korean and Ethiopian restaurants, but believes that each country will see a shift based on changing migration patterns.
“For the past decade, we’ve seen a growth in Ethiopian restaurants in London. We will see geographical trends adapt to the migration/immigration stats in Australia. The pandemic has fuelled interest in different international foods – people will continue to travel through different cuisines.”