Fresh and Fast at the Javits Center is the future of hospitality

(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images) /

The future of hospitality is a conversation that can go in many directions. While guest experience is paramount, functionality must be managed. For large spaces, like the Javits Center, convenience paired with variety is a top priority. With the new Fresh and Fast, this shopping experience could change the large scale hospitality approach for a long time.

From large scale conventions to sporting events to just convenient shopping experiences, the idea of grab and go food and beverage offerings are changing. It is more than just another soda or bag of chips. It is how people shop and how guests pay.

Fresh and Fast and Fresh at the Javits Center is “the first touchless café in any convention center in the United States.” While that statement might not be devoured by the person looking for the next food trend or innovative food product, it will have an impact on all of those items. With this shopping approach, there is a possibility that it could stretch beyond this convention center space.

As Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy, said, “The future of hospitality and guest experiences is about meeting people where they are, and being intentional about understanding their preferences, to create unique food and beverage offerings each guest values.” That clear statement says volumes about this offering. Although Fresh and Fast is a Javits Center first, its success could spur big changes in other locations across the country.

Lansing continues to comment, “Fresh and Fast café brings together the quality, variety, and convenience guests value, and uses innovative technology to put the experience in guests’ hands.” Using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, this shopping method could impact not just the consumer but also the companies who put that food on the shelf.

The idea of the convenience store is more than just quick grab and go option. Granted, there is always something to be said about the need to shop efficiently, but it can be more than just that sentiment. While people can debate the ease and impact of the self-service checkout, the reality is that some people would prefer to have less people involved with that food transaction.

When thinking about the convention center space, the ability to grab a snack or beverage and continue working is key. Anyone who has stood in the long wait for coffee at the start of a day can appreciate that adding those extra minutes back into the schedule is helpful.

The ease of shopping has become a huge factor for consumers. As more and more people shop online, that idea of pushing a button and having a product arrive has become ingrained. Being accustomed to that experience is now carrying over to the in-person shopping. Whether it is people are losing their patience or something else, the reality is that purchasing food and beverages is less about the lingering, it is about the grab and go.

Although Fresh and Fast and Fresh targets the convention space, the idea is easily applied to other hospitality locations. Who wouldn’t want to get back to their seats and watch that epic drive at a football stadium or hear their favorite song at the hottest concert of the year. As long as guests can navigate the concept efficiently, the application of this approach could be widespread.

As these type of shopping options become more popular, it could change the food and beverages on the shelf. Customization might be limited. Portions could change. Even product variety could be more streamlined. Whether or not these ideas are beneficial,  detrimental or even comes to fruition remains to be seen.

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For now, many people will be happy to step into the Fresh and Fast and Fresh concept at the Javits Center. How this shopping trend expands beyond these walls remains to be seen.