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Urbanspace NYC — Masters of the Immersive Market

Across New York, food halls and markets have increasingly transformed the city’s culinary landscape, creating alluring spaces that house an array of esteemed food and beverage purveyors, all conveniently located within one central location. While the number of these venues has escalated within recent years, not all concepts have grasped the same level of attention from consumers quite like beloved market curators, Urbanspace.

Urbanspace has been instrumental in shaping New York’s flourishing food hall scene. The market leaders operate two of the city’s most popular permanent food halls, Urbanspace Vanderbilt and 570 Lex, as well as a full-time market in Times Square. The company also runs a variety of seasonal pop-ups across the city, such as Mad. Sq. Eats and Broadway Bites in addition to renowned holiday markets like Bryant Park, Union Square, and more. The brand is devoted to providing platforms for local or smaller-scale food businesses, giving them a place to thrive and exchange ideas amongst a diverse group of artisans and entrepreneurs.

In order to operate a highly-successful food hall, there must be more to the market than the food itself. Urbanspace stands out amongst other food hall concepts because their spaces offer something greater than just impressive vendor lineups — they provide one-of-a-kind experiences. The innovative brand transforms public venues into bustling community hubs — immersive environments for visitors that are rich in creativity, collaboration, and entertainment. As a result, Urbanspace’s establishments foster genuine community engagement. The mix of great food, design, and programming provides customers with memorable experiences that keep them coming back.

DESIGNED FOR SUCCESS

An example of Urbanspace’s commitment to cultivating exceptional experiences can be seen through the unique design of Urbanspace 570 Lex, located in New York’s historic General Electric Building. The expansive, multistory environment, which opened in March 2018, is home to 16 food and drink vendors, such as Roberta’s Pizza, Japanese ramen spot Kuro-Obi, Mexican street food by Dorado Tacos, and fried chicken favorite Bobwhite Counter. Located in Manhattan’s bustling Midtown neighborhood, every day the market fills up fast with a wide demographic of hungry customers — from office workers on their lunch break to tourists seeking an exciting culinary destination.

Often times busy markets will suffer the challenges of overcrowding and disorganized queues — with a multitude of high-quality food options under one roof, it’s easy for crowds to quickly grow chaotic. Long lines, sparse seating, and clogged walkways will quickly dissuade customers from returning. Urbanspace 570 Lex has been thoughtfully designed to maximize efficiency within the space, and create the most enjoyable dining experience possible for its customers. Each custom-branded vendor stall is equipped with queue stanchions, which helps form organized lines to keep walkways clear. All of the kiosks utilize Square-operated tablets, which keeps the lines moving quickly. And as the space itself is quite massive, Urbanspace created a custom-branded sign of arrows to guide guests in the direction of the vendors they are looking for.

There is also ample seating in order to house the steady stream of New Yorkers and city visitors entering. A smattering of countertops and cafeteria-style benches can be found on the first floor, but the main seating area is located on the lofted second story, strategically separated from the bustling food stalls. This placement helps to cut clutter and keep the market operations streamlined. It also allows for customers to dine in peace without feeling crowded by the hordes of hungry market-goers below.

COMMUNITY COUNTS

When Urbanspace creates a market, the community is always kept top of mind, and each is built to evoke a sense of personality and originality. They are passionate about providing both tenants and customers with welcoming, enjoyable environments that are vibrant and always teeming with energy.

All types of visitors are found within Urbanspace’s food halls — young professionals on their lunch break, families sharing an evening meal, coworkers at happy hour, tourists and commuters grabbing a bite before catching their train home. The brand strives to provide consumers with a diverse spread of cuisine, while also representing everyone — from vegan to gluten-free to paleo. Their top-notch roster of vendors is valuable for their food halls’ customer retention. Curious one-time visitors quickly turn into weekly regulars, excited by the opportunity to try something new and fantastic each day.

Urbanspace further builds loyalty with its customers through their wide variety of market programming and entertainment. At 570 Lex, the space hosts an array of fun and unique events to encourage community involvement, such as weekly live music and DJ nights, live piano karaoke, and special dinners spotlighting vendors within the markets. Urbanspace Vanderbilt, another Midtown food hall, also hosts an assortment of activities such as community happy hours, national holiday specials, and promotions for new menu items.

ALWAYS STAY SOCIAL

In addition to their custom-branded physical environments, Urbanspace has created a unique community experience through their thoughtfully curated social media presence. Their Instagram page, which boasts over 57,000 followers, is consistently updated to not only showcase their talented vendors and upcoming programming, but also to interact with their widespread community of supporters. Their active engagement with fans and customers online plays a crucial role in garnering awareness for the brand, as well as helps to build and strengthen relationships with current and future market visitors.

LEADING BY EXPERIENCE

Every Urbanspace market — both seasonal or permanent — is a testament to the brand’s commitment to providing a universal meeting place that fosters connection over a shared meal and experience. They consistently keep things fresh — showcasing an ever-changing lineup of chefs, artisans and makers — and are always looking for new ways to appeal to their customers. No matter the continued changes to New York’s culinary landscape, Urbanspace’s ability to create one-of-a-kind environments for its market visitors is a valuable skill that should not be overlooked.

Read more about customer experience and brand loyalty from industry leader Newline.

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