Experiencing a Taste of Spain at Hudson Yards New York

Living up to the $25 billion hype was seemingly impossible, but Hudson Yards has done it. New York’s newest neighborhood, shopping hub, outdoor space and dining destination is now open. Large crowds attended the opening ceremonies and will no doubt continue to explore the vast and diverse attractions.

One of the most highly anticipated food havens at Hudson Yards was Jose Andres’ Spanish food hall. The renown chef’s ThinkFoodGroup sought out partners to create the best NYC food hall experience in the form of Mercado Little Spain. WD Partners was tapped to develop a customer experience strategy in parallel with an operations engineering focus.

Mercado Little Spain

Meticulous Research Helps Bring the Hall to Life

In order to prep Mercado Little Spain to be that best-in-class food hall experience, we gathered insights on a number of levels. We studied trends in consumer culture, audited other successful food halls, reviewed Yelp reviews and identified unique food-tainment experiences. All of those inputs fed into our visioning workshop, which enabled us to translate the vision into activation strategies for every component of the experience design.

Mercado Little Spain

A Healthy Appetite for a Variety of Flavors

With the amount of foot traffic expected at Hudson Yards, our primary task was to ensure the operating model and foodservice components were adequately designed for the throughput required to meet anticipated sales volumes of the business model.

In addition, it was imperative to prepare for the different types of operations under one roof. From Leña, a grill-focused restaurant, and Mar, a menu celebration of the sea, to the Mercado, which includes several food kiosks and bars, it’s safe to say Mercado Little Spain would have something for every taste bud.

Mercado Little Spain

Delivering Delicious Experiences Starts with Smart Operations Engineering

We performed time studies and observed operations at existing restaurants with similar product offerings to collect inputs for modeling unique menu items and processes. We then developed labor and equipment utilization standards along with queueing modelling. Using anticipated sales targets of the food hall, we developed recommendations to most effectively deploy labor and equipment.

In the end, we used a distinct combination of our services to allow Mercado Little Spain to deliver an unparalleled, genuine Spanish food hall experience in Manhattan’s West Side. One challenge we’re still unable to solve is which dish to try first!

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