Running a Restaurant/food courts leasing


Hi Davis:
I am trying to lease a food courts in mall at Johnson City Tennessee Region. This is the biggest mall around tri-city region. While this center would seem relatively small with about 80 stores and a food court spaced for 9 eateries. I had been talk to regional director; they say the lease for the existing tenant doesn’t expire for a few years. They aren’t able to discuss future plans for the space at this time. My question how can I talk to Regional director Leasing GLIMCHER for early register leasing? And how can I successfully winning the contract for leasing?  Another question how much usually a small city food courts rental at mall? What is the estimate a food court can make annually? Are they worth to have a business in a small city mall?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Xiao,

My apologies for being slow to respond.  I simply missed seeing the email from All Experts.

It is a tough process to get into food courts.  We have successfully helped several clients do this.  In order to get a food court space in a strong mall, you need to either have a proven concept (I am assuming that you do NOT have an existing restaurant in another food court) or you need to have a concept that is on-trend, clearly differentiated and the mall must feel that you have a strong business model with a high likelihood of success.  This usually means have a very professional business plan and realistic financial projections.  They (mall management) want concepts that are markedly different from what they already have, but mainstream enough to have broad popularity.

Sales in food courts can vary widely, dependent primarily on two things: the overall strength of sales at the mall itself and the average sales per square foot of the existing food court concepts.  Malls will disclose both of these numbers if they are serious about attracting you.  If the mall is not averaging at least $1000 in annualized revenue per square foot for the food court, you probably do not want to be in that center.  You also want to know how the center is doing in general - are sales trending up, down, or stagnant.  Are there other malls in the area that are expanding or new centers being built that will impact the mall you are interested in?  

We offer the financial planning, concept development and lease negotiations that you will need.  It comes down to how serious you are and how strong your concept is.  If you are serious about doing this, contact me directly and we can arrange a time to talk!

David Foster
Foster and Associates
(417) 877-0428 office
(417) 849-1903 cell  

Running a Restaurant

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


David Foster


We have been in the restaurant industry for over 40 years and consult with restaurants, casinos, food court concepts, bars and hotels nationwide. We love helping restaurant operators succeed and can answer any questions related to restaurant start-ups, business plans, operations, labor costs, food costs, liquor costs, employee turnover, marketing, operational improvements, franchising etc.


I am a seasoned foodservice veteran with nearly 50 years experience in the industry. My extensive background includes overseeing multi-unit, multi-concept restaurant operations ranging from cafeterias to fine dining, and everything in between. I have a strong hands-on operations and marketing background that give me a unique insight into the “Real World” challenges of the restaurant industry. I have extensive concept development, menu and recipe development and kitchen layout and design expertise. I am effective in analyzing operational needs and identifying practical solutions in today’s very dynamic foodservice environment. In the industry, I am respected by my peers and have served on the Board of Directors of the Missouri Restaurant Association and have been a featured speaker on the subject of Home Meal Replacement at various national events. I also served on the Culinary Advisory Board of the Ozark Technical College as well as serving on the Board of Directors of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks.

Member of the National Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of the Missouri Restaurant Association, Past Board Member of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Ozarks

The Consultant, Seasoned Views (a trade magazine for the restaurant industry, QSR - a publication dedicated to quick serve and fast casual concepts.

Attended Drury University, Springfield, MO, Varsity Management, SRI

Awards and Honors
I have had restaurant projects featured in The Consultant (a magazine for foodservice consultants with worldwide circulation). I was honored for achieving the highest level of management competence by the Selection Research Institute.

Past/Present Clients
Sugar Creek Casino, Classic Rock Coffee Company, Mark Twain Brewing Company, Springfield Brewing Company, Bruegger's Bagels, M&M Grill, Paco Joe's, Holiday Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Buffalo Run Casino, Golden Corral Corporation, Crosswinds Café, Chinese Chef, Mr. Dunderbak's Old World Market & Café, Bullfeather’s Wings and Grille, Mainstreet Market, Bear Rock Café, Cartoon's Oyster Bar & Grill, T's Redneck Roadhouse, Jim's Steakhouse, Neighbor's Mill Bakery & Café, Crazy Vine, San Francisco Oven, Maria's Mexican Restaurant, Andy's Frozen Custard, The Granite Club, Umi Japanese Steak, Seafood and Sushi, Springfield Grocer Company, US Foodservice, Premium Standard Farms, Smithfield, Dakota Organic, Kraft Foods, Allens, Inc.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]