Walmart's New Food Court Isn't A Costco Copycat — It's The Upgrade

When most people think of food courts, Walmart probably isn't the first place that comes to mind. But while everyone has been debating whether Costco or Sam's Club has the better food court, Walmart has been quietly making moves to create a new dining experience for guests, according to a report from The Kitchn. If reactions to the food court's test store in Quakertown, Pennsylvania, are to be believed, it may become many folks' preferred spot. "Just ate there today for the first time and it was amazing," one Walmart customer wrote on Facebook.

Before people jump to the wrong conclusion, it doesn't seem as though Walmart is trying to copy Costco. If anything, the superstore's new "mini food halls" are an upgrade from the hot dogs, pizza, and sandwiches found at the warehouse giant. At Walmart's food court, patrons can choose between eight different restaurants offering fare such as wings, barbecue, burritos, and more. They can even finish their meal at Room for Dessert, which features iconic sweets from Magnolia Bakery and Milk Bar. If you're starting to feel left out because you don't live near Quakertown, don't worry, 25 more locations are set to open by the end of the year.

The food hall's creator has strong ties to Walmart

The food halls are the brainchild of Walmart's former U.S. eCommerce CEO Marc Lore and his food delivery company, Wonder Group, which he launched in 2018. Lore also happens to be the mind behind, which Walmart bought in 2016. Wonder's concept began in New York and New Jersey, allowing people to order food for delivery, takeout, or dine-in. Wonder+, the company's membership service, is $7.99 a month, but all delivery fees are waived, and Wonder's website claims that the average order is delivered within 35 minutes.

Wonder has worked with big-name celebrity chefs like Bobby Flay to introduce gourmet food to those who may not be familiar with it. The Quakertown Walmart food hall features Mediterranean food from Yasas by Michael Symon, as well as renowned pizza chef Michele D'Amelio's Alanza Pizza.

Wonder's business model, per its website, focuses on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. It reduces waste by donating unused food to organizations like New York City's City Harvest and the Community Food Bank of New Jersey. Lore, along with Daniel Shlossman, Wonder's chief growth and marketing officer, sees Wonder as the future for restaurants. Its team even coined a new term for the concept: "fast fine" dining. "Bringing this elevated level of dining that you might typically get from, like, a dine-in restaurant, more to the masses," Shlossman told BK Reader.