Cadillac Fairview Innovates with Virtual Food Court Experience Platform

Canadian shopping centre owner Cadillac Fairview has launched an innovative and unique platform to help food services and restaurants cope with the challenges brought on by the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.

CF Eats is a virtual food court experience — an online directory of restaurants and food retailers in CF properties across Canada that offer takeout and delivery.


Jose Ribau, Executive Vice President of Digital & Innovation with Cadillac Fairview, said the goal of innovation is to always be in the market and go to where the customer preference is.

“And during COVID obviously it’s always a moving target. For our retailers who are focused on their restaurants or that are dining services or even food courts, this has been an extremely challenging time for them and most recently in Quebec and Ontario certain districts and areas have been shut down again for another month,” said Ribau.

“So one of the journeys we’ve been focused on is food. Food is a big part of someone’s shopping trip and so we’re not only on the physical side always trying to reinvent the mix of tenants that we have on the property but on the digital side there’s varying degrees of maturity in terms of those that offer delivery, pick up, curbside, ordering, etc.

“What we’ve done is piloted our own version of the Eats program. CF Eats is basically the portal that consolidates all of those restaurant and dining service offerings into one website. So if you want to order locally you can actually go to one site and it will pull all of the information and present to you different options. So if you want to order from New York Fries and you want to order from Wendy’s and want to order from a bunch of different food outlets as well as restaurants you can do so through one portal. This is our effort to provide a level of service to help these retailers.”

Ribau said that with the current challenges posed by increasing COVID numbers this is a way for CF to motivate customers to still shop locally but virtually.

“We’re offering it across the country,” he said. “It’s selectable by mall.

“We want to remind people and retailers that there are other ways that landlords can help and this is one that we hope will help both our shoppers and our retailers understand the mall is part of the community and people who work in that mall are part of our community. So anything we can do to help support them locally is really what this is all about.

“We can talk a lot about the innovation and technology but ultimately if you ask me why we’re doing this we have a role to play in the community and we think this is just another extension of that.”

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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