Market Halls may as well have used the current issues facing the sector as a tick-sheet for the perfect operating conditions. Difficult rents, immobile councils, high business rates and financial barriers to entry all play to the group's strengths, allowing it to foster an emerging empire of food halls offering diners fast-casual food from 24 kitchens across sites in Fulham, Victoria and Essex, as well as an upcoming flagship in the West End.
Housing multiple high-quality, independent food stalls in a homogenous indoor space is a bold, simple idea that has been replicated around the world - and the firm's chief executive Andy Lewis-Pratt is amazed that the company could get in on the ground floor in the UK. "You see food halls in Spain, you see them in Holland, you see them in Sweden," he says. "And you're left thinking - what's London been doing?"
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