Restaurant companies constantly looking over there shoulder at competitors now have two strong retail grocers focused on the restaurant space. Publix successfully has grown Crispers into a consumer driven chain and last wee Wegmans entered with The Food Bar after success with the concept within the store they now feel it ready stand on it’s own.
“The Wegman's supermarket chain is entering the restaurant business with the launch of The Food Bar, a fast casual/casual dining hybrid opened Dec. 10. The restaurant is located next to Wegman's flagship store in Pittsford, N.Y., and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
The restaurant gives customers the option to order at the counter or to have full table service at the bar. Three varieties of wine and beer are on tap and orders are served in picnic baskets with plastic utensils.
Menu items include burgers and other sandwiches, crab cakes, sundaes and milkshakes made with Wegman's proprietary frozen custard. Price points range from $4 to $14.
The Food Bar boasts a distinctive décor “washed in seashore colors,” according to the Wegman's website. “Big windows invite the sun in. Sand-colored brickwork soars over tables and the booths, upholstered in deep-ocean blue. Sky blue walls meet wood-tone floors in the colors of dry and wet sand. Curving design motifs over the counter hint at the motion of ocean waves.”
Ready-to-eat and ready-to-heat fresh grocerant food is entering both Drug store sector and convenience store sector and during 2011 restaurant companies must be prepared for these new competitors as well.
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