Food Halls: Beyond the Buffet

Published in Gaming & Leisure®, learn about the advantages of food halls from Steve Carlson—president of Rippe Associates.

The pandemic has allowed casinos to do what they always wanted to do, but were afraid to do: close their buffets. Long considered essential to stay competitive and drive traffic, many of our clients have found that while buffet traffic is down, revenue is up.

While buffets were a financial drain, they did several things well. They handled a large volume of customers, provided a large variety of menu items, and customers were willing to get their own food. Of those three, our customers are most interested in having a varied menu.

One of the options being considered is the food hall. Food hall venues can be designed for any menu. You decide how much menu variety is needed to keep customers interested and how many venues are needed depending for peak demand on weekends, concert nights and promotions.

We are often asked what the difference is between a food hall and a food court. To us, the differences are that venues are self-branded or local – not national chains – and the emphasis is on local, quality ingredients and authenticity. Menu items can be whatever your customer wants to eat. We are designing many food halls that have the basic three: burgers, pizza/pasta, and some type of Asian menu items.


Enter your email to receive the latest Rippe news and insights.


10400 Yellow Circle Dr, Ste 100
Minneapolis, MN 55343

Front Desk: 952.933.0313


Login / Register