Karen Karp & Partners worked with Friends of the High Line in 2018 to develop a refreshed concept, strategy, and business model for the park’s food program.
Established in 2011, the High Line food program always strived to offer interesting, sustainable, high quality, and fairly priced food and beverage options. And as with most highly visited parks and cultural venues, their food program is a vital amenity in the guest experience. In considering the next phase of the program and to ensure it is truly representative of the Friends of the High Line's standards and ideals, KK&P began its engagement by asking the following questions:
How can food offerings on the High Line grow beyond an amenity, with a unique, “values forward” concept and programmatic focus that is both mission-aligned and delicious? How can the High Line deliver greater social and economic impacts to the community? How can the High Line leverage this approach to further its national role as a leading civic organization?
To answer those questions, KK&P first conducted extensive interviews with park staff, neighborhood businesses, board members, and park vendors to assess the current program as well as identify opportunities for programmatic revitalization. KK&P then designed and facilitated an interactive charrette with internal stakeholders and industry experts to establish the desired characteristics of a new food program and outline a conceptual framework for what that program might look like, how it would be experienced, and what benefits it might deliver to the public and the park. This research resulted in a number of common themes that were later incorporated into our recommendations.
As a result of that process, Friends of the High Line engaged KK&P to select new vendors for the 2018 season through a comprehensive RFP process. KK&P strategically identified, evaluated, and recruited vendors with a focus on those who share in the High Line’s mission, vision, and value, and demonstrate enthusiasm for a more robust approach to food programming.