Villa Enterprises Management Ltd. Inc., a global multi-concept restaurant operator, announced the grand opening of five quick-service restaurants at the Arizona Mills Outlet Shopping Center in Tempe, Arizona, the state’s largest indoor, climate-controlled shopping center. The newly renovated food court now features the company’s Green Leaf’s, Bananas, South Philly Steaks & Fries, and Far East brands, as well as a concept new to the Villa Enterprises portfolio, Sukotto Japanese Grill, which will offer teriyaki, noodle soups, and sushi.
Since taking over in early February, Villa Enterprises has been managing and renovating the shopping center’s 11,500 square-foot food court. The company will open four additional concepts over the next several months, including its popular Villa Italian Kitchen and its newer Mo’ Burger concept. Villa Enterprises will also introduce another new concept specifically created for Arizona Mills, Tinta Mexicana. Additionally, Villa Enterprises will franchise a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf location and will renovate the entire seating area of the food court.
“Over the past several years, we’ve been focused on multi-brand opportunities as well as expanding our management services to operate entire food courts,” says Adam Torine, Villa Enterprise’s senior vice president of business development. “Our ability to leverage our diverse brands and even create new concepts based on market demand provides us with a unique opportunity to deliver expanded dining options to consumers.”
The Arizona Mills project continues the fulfillment of Villa Enterprises’ strategic growth initiative focused on multi-unit opportunities within malls, outlet centers, casinos, and airports both domestically and internationally.
“There are many collaborations with management, operations, and construction when doing a multi-brand approach, and we are able to reward more people in our organization with upward opportunities,” Torine says.
To prepare for the change in management, Villa Enterprises temporarily outfitted the food court with unbranded restaurant concept locations run by its own trained employees, some from corporate and others hired locally. Villa anticipates the creation of nearly 150 jobs within the food court and recently hosted a job fair for all of its concepts to fill management and crew positions from the local community.
This marks the company’s second complete food court takeover since 2009, when the company took over operations at Sands Casino and Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which has seen a 3.5 percent increase in sales through the execution of six independent brands.