Teams compete for chance to win a restaurant in local mall food courts
Food Network takes a journey with Tyler Florence as he scours the U.S. to help aspiring entrepreneurs realize their lifelong dreams of opening their own restaurant in the new series "Food Court Wars," premiering Sunday, July 7, at 10 p.m., and airing on Sundays at 8 p.m. starting July 14. Each episode features two teams competing against each other for the chance to open a restaurant, rent-free, for one year in a mall food court. But first, the two teams must create an irresistible food court concept in 48 hours and then outsell the other team in a single day of business at the mall, with the winner awarded their new food court restaurant.
"Malls have long been a hidden source in finding some of the most unique food concepts across the country," said Allison Page, senior vice president of programming for the Food Network. "The teams competing are all true restaurateurs, testing their culinary skills and business acumen. They have put everything on the line to fulfill their dream of operating their own restaurant year-round in a mall food court."
Over the course of six episodes, this fast-paced competition pits teams in a different U.S. city mall that is looking to fill a spot in a food court with a local eatery that offers a fresh and exciting menu. Not only is the team's food tested, but also its ability to run a successful business, as the teams test concepts, source produce and create a marketing campaign strong enough to pull in the crowds. In the end, the team that makes the most profit is awarded their new food court restaurant on the spot.
In the premiere episode, Florence heads to Meridian, Miss., to give one lucky team a spot in the mall food court. Retirees Mary and Thomas Jordan, a married couple of 45 years, have been selling their famous "Mississippi Delta Tamales" off a hot plate at a gas station, always imagining how successful they could be with a proper kitchen in the right location. After working in restaurants for the past 10 years, best friends Erika Lipe and Stevo McCain have dreamed of opening their own place serving authentic New Orleans-style po'boys, but, due to circumstances beyond their control, their careers were put on hold. These two teams will face-off in a battle of southern cooking with one team winning its very own food court restaurant.
This season, "Food Court Wars" travels to malls in Spartanburg, S.C.; Wausau, Wis.; Midland, Mich.; Burnsville, Minn.; and Charleston, S.C.