The New Yorker has a piece suggesting that the flourishing American food hall trend may not be everything it is cracked up to be.

“ Much of the current expansion is driven by property developers grasping for ways to reinvigorate moribund shopping centers, or to gin up interest in new developments,” the story says. “Traditional retail is waning; millennial consumers, the marketing consensus tells us, aren’t interested in ‘stuff’ so much as in experiences—as well as choice, convenience, ‘authenticity,’ and things that make good photographs. You can see where the food halls come in. The markets themselves can provide landlords a healthy income, but, to those looking to offload high-rise apartments or office space, they offer prospective tenants something even more stirring: an amenity. Drop a food hall into the mix, and the whole development basks in the soft, Edison-bulb glow of the small food businesses inhabiting its ground floor, luring tenants with the siren song of pour-over coffee and craft beer.”

But … the story also points out that “you can backslide into food-court territory really quickly,”and explains how it happens.

You can read the story here.

KC's View: I have a pretty good rule that I think applies here. If someone pitching a concept puts “authenticity” in quotes, or sees it as a marketing ploy as opposed to a value, it’s probably going to be anything but authentic.