Restaurants the ilk of Chipotle Mexican Grill, Subway, Panera Bread, Romano's Macaroni Grill and Italian Restaurant, Fuddruckers, and Taco Del Mar have leveraged industry insights and success clues to grow. Many other restaurants have copied, leveraged, or utilized the same clues for success. What’s new is who else is leveraging these clues. Here are the clues:
Visceral display Kitchens
Grilling both inside and outside (LTO’s)
Personalized Entre Assembly
While restaurants started leveraging these success clues today convenience stores and grocery stores are utilizing these clues for retail success as well. Here are a few examples.
Whole Foods has salad ingredient bars inviting customer participation, personalization, and customization. Pizza stations with display kitchens. Roasting stations both inside and out leveraging seasonal fresh products as LTO’s and a hook to complete the meal with components fresh prepared inside.
Festival Foods holds outside events in the parking lot usually involving grilling and Family Night LTO’s to garner greater participation. The events focus on grocerant niche meals and meal component bundling. In April 2013 published reports state that in less than pleasant weather, the company sold 4,500 racks of ribs at $10 a rack, and $5 for a half a rack. Customers could choose from side orders of coleslaw, potato, and macaroni salad for an extra charge as well. Festival Foods says they are restaurant quality ribs but not a restaurant. Inside the carving station draws attention and additional customers. I guess we know what that makes them.
Lamb’s Thriftway founds success with grilling as well and customers like the tri-tip, and planked salmon that are prepared fresh in store. Fresh prepared food for lunch and dinner has now expanded into breakfast items being grilled for Take-Out.
Pinkies Liquor stores with expanded markets now offer fresh in-store prepared entrée, casseroles sandwiches, salads, fresh fruit cups and desserts along with traditional Grab N Go. Mile Ellington says all items are chef prepared, restaurant quality but Pinkies is not a restaurant.
Success does leave clues if you are in food retailing today your brand needs to be consumer interactive, and participatory. Channel blurring in not in the mind of the consumer only in the minds-eye of brand marketers.
Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® Bing or Google Grocerants or visit http://www.linkedin.com/in/grocerant, twitter.com/grocerant or Facebook Steven Johnson