Time Out Market Montreal was one of the most anticipated openings in the city. Being such a foodie and social city, the food hall trend makes total sense. But like so many restaurants and culinary experiences, 2020 was not the year that they had hoped for.
Media-company-turned-culinary-curators, Time Out ventured into the food hall business with its flagship location in Lisbon in 2014.
Since then, it has opened markets all over North America and is currently working on locations in London, Dubai, and Praha.
All seemed to be going well, until the doors were forced to shut in March 2020, less than four months after its initial opening. Like the rest of the world, COVID-19 lead Time Out to open all of its doors, including here in Montreal.
But as the world gets ready to get back to normal (or at least the "new normal"), many are left to wonder how businesses are going to keep customers and employees safe from the virus and any future viruses, especially the restaurant business.
We spoke to Didier Souillat, CEO of Time Out Market, about what the future holds for the Montreal location.
Answers have been condensed and edited for clarity.
What measures is Time Out Market Montreal enacting to ensure health and safety for vendors, employees, and guests?
Time Out Market Montreal is designed in a way that will ease some of the concerns people have as the world begins to reopen:
At 40,000 square feet, we have ample space to comply with social distancing rules.
Large open space with high ceilings and advanced technology allows for air circulation & air filtration system.
Contactless options for ordering, paying and delivery.
Open kitchens allowing customers to view their meal as it is prepared and delivered.
Strict sanitation policies and systems are in place.
A big part of the food hall experience is communal seating and walking freely from stall to stall. How will that change once the hall reopens?
We are dedicated to creating an environment that follows government regulations along with the required health and safety protocols of Sante Montréal, while also still providing an enjoyable dining experience for guests.
How are the needs of a food hall reopening different from a typical restaurant? Will all of your vendors be returning?
Food halls, like Time Out Market, have the advantage of space that allows for more guests when complying with social distancing guidelines.
For us, we are proud of having so many partners at Time Out Market Montréal who are an essential part of the local community, and we are able to provide them with a safe and viable location for their business.