KK&P was retained by the global design firm Sasaki to develop a food service vision and operating model for a new public park under development in the city of Lakeland, Florida. The park will center on Lake Bonnet, ecologically restoring a 180-acre area to the east of the lake that was once a major rail hub of the east coast. The result—Bonnet Springs Park—will consist of a welcome center, an event center, a children’s museum, and a nature center adjacent to the lake. Within this framework, KK&P is developing a model for food-and-beverage operations that includes each of these venues and over 20,000 square feet of food service area.
In the initial phase of the project, KK&P worked to develop an overarching food service vision. As a critical amenity for the park’s visitors, food is a natural anchor and leverage point for all three of the park’s mission focus areas: ecology, culture, and community. Food service operations and programming require thoughtful and strategic integration to meet a range of needs, tastes, and price points for the park’s visitors. KK&P worked with the team to develop this vision and then generate operating models and profiles for each of the four sites to actualize it. In the next phase of the project, KK&P will recruit operators though a comprehensive and region-wide RFP process.
Developers and architects today recognize the central role that food plays in revenue strategies, visitor amenities, placemaking, and expression of a park’s mission. The food program at Bonnet Springs Park will meet the diverse needs and tastes of visitors and provide an essential revenue stream for the park’s operators for years to come.