When I was growing up, smorgasbords were all the rage in the restaurant world. Whether it was an all-you-can-eat, a giant salad bar, or an all-out buffet, dining establishments that thrived provided not just quantity, but choice. The few fast food outlets there were served their fare in a standard format — there was none of the personalization that is so common in facilities today — so many restaurants offered dining options via the big buffet.

Today’s version of the smorgasbord is the food hall where many restaurants occupy the same building. It’s an upscale, modern version of the mall food court which morphed from the smorgasbord format. Both allow diners to pick which restaurant suits their pallet or dietary needs, and they can still enjoy the companionship of others who may have different tastes. Choosing a food hall is easier than the hassle of coming to an agreement on one place with a limited menu. so people go where there are options.

People have always liked options for their food but they like choices for other things as well. Can you offer your services in a food hall-type format combining your business with other similar businesses under the same roof to generate a larger audience? A wedding hall with all the planning services together? A baby hall with everything new parents need to get started? A new home hall with decorators and contractors working side-by-side?

Similar organizations aren’t always competition.

Prospect Park, Minneapolis

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