Market Halls closes Lakeside food court six months after opening
The operators of Market Halls have closed the Intu Lakeside, Thurrock, site six months after its opening.
The Hall featured operators including Burger & Beyond, fried chicken from Mother Clucker, and Fundi Pizza from Essex brothers Charlie and Rory Nelson. It closed due to a lack of footfall before Christmas.
One employee of Fundi Pizza told Essex Live that the trader tooks as little as £120 on slow days.
Manager Jack Kenworthy said: "We were one of the third best stores, so it was making money but I don't know what the rent there was.
"It was very quiet in The Hall, there would be a handful of customers daily until the weekend."
He added: "There were some days we would make one order between opening and 4pm and it would just be a lot of standing about cleaning because no people were coming in.
"We would get people coming in from elsewhere with food from Greggs or McDonalds even though The Hall was specifically for this food.
"The lowest point was when we made £120 in a day and they obviously took 25% of that too. When the weekend came around we made a lot more."
Market Halls' chief operating officer and co-founder Simon Anderson told The Caterer in August 2019 that the business model was based on taking 25% of operators takings to cover rent along with costs associated with front of house and cleaning staff, marketing and bar operation.
With little return for the investment at the shopping centre the Market Halls management have pulled the plug.
Market Halls said in a statement: ""It is with deep regret that we announce the closure of The Hall's first and only outlet - The Hall, intu Lakeside.
We were very excited about the promise of the expansion plans of intu Lakeside but due to a variety of reasons, including delays to the opening of other key tenants, we never saw the levels of footfall required to sustain a business of our nature."