Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wanted Restaurant with a Reading Room

The grocerant niche continues to expand garnering new retailers aiming to create a platform for sustainable success.  While Amazon can sell you books Online to read on your Kindle, they can deliver a restaurant meal to your door, and they can deliver groceries to your kitchen.  Amazon they can’t serve you a coffee and desert or sandwich while you read a book with friends.  

Barnes & Noble is back and focused on the experience of reading and everything readers of books enjoy while reading.  That includes sipping on a hot cup of tea or coffee and enjoying a bite to eat. Barnes & Noble is scheduled to open four full-service cafés in its stores over the next year. 

Barnes & Noble’s new cafés will serve an expanded menu in a contemporary setting (see renderings above and below this post).  Grocerant niche focus had worked wonders for IKEA and they sell furniture Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru® expects that these new café’s will work for Barns & Noble. 

The first of four expanded cafés offering table service, beer, and wine  will open all across the US including at the Vernon Hills Shopping Center in Eastchester, N.Y.,  Edina Galleria in Edina, Minn.; One Loudon mixed-use community in Loudon, Va.; and the Palladio at Broadstone Mall in Folsom, Calif. 

Jamie Carey President of Barnes & Noble Restaurant Group stated “Our new cafés will feature a contemporary aesthetic, an expanded food and beverage offering — including wine and beer — and a major commitment to hospitality, featuring tableside service,” 

Carey continued  “The new food and beverage offerings along with a focus on hospitality will further reinforce Barnes & Noble as a destination and a place where people come to spend time and unwind,” Carey said. “Where possible, we will also look for opportunities to introduce some of these new offerings within our existing cafés.”

Legacy retailers large and small are migrating to and adopting grocerant niche ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food positioning.  Is your brand evolving? Have you considered selling grocerant niche Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food items to your employees to take home for dinner? 

Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Grocerants ‘Better for You’ Big Play

Did you ever hear the old adage birds of a feather flock together?  Kimbal Musk, the brother of Tesla founder Elon Musk, and, founder of The Kitchen farm-to-table restaurant group and a director of Chipotle, said he’s cracked the code for a quick-service restaurant concept that will feature healthful soups, sandwiches and salads for under $5 each.

Well everyone is constantly talking about how smart Elon Musk is but we know that Kimbal is just as smart.  Kimbal like Hudson Riehle, SVP of the National Restaurant Association’s research and knowledge group understands that For full-service operations, the main drag on sales is something too large for them to right on their own. The issue is an erosion of the spending power of high-income families, whose spending disproportionately fuels that segment.  

Kimbal is doing something about it.  The Kitchenette will be the third healthy concept pioneered by Musk and business partner Hugo Matheson. In addition to locations of The Kitchen, the pair operates a sister concept called Next Door.  Musk will keep costs low in The Kitchenette by working closely with local farmers. Musk says that using the same meat and produce distributors for all three concepts will help slash prices for in-season items.

The Kitchenette is part of Musk’s restaurant philosophy “Community Through Food” and his efforts to establish what he calls a “real food culture.” Musk continued “In the past five years, we’ve moved toward eating in our cars, our cubicles, and in front of our TVs. It’s very isolating “The reality is that we connect through food, and we have the opportunity to do it three times a day.”

Musk hopes to launch more Kitchenette locations within Memphis and eventually take the concept nationwide. The grocerant niche filled with Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared better for you combined with attractive price points (under $5) will be successful according to our own Grocerant Guru®.

Since 1991 retail food consultancy Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche for more on Foodservice Solutions® or for a Grocerant Scorecard visit,  Email:

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Clues for Building a Lasting Grocerant Brand

Success does leave clues and if you want your fresh prepared Grocerant niche food brand to have distinctive differentiated messaging and positioning below are 10 clues from Foodservice Solutions® Grocerant Guru®:  

1.       Purpose.   Do you have contemporized customer fresh food relevance? Why you are there?  The most successful brands are inclusive, include values greater than themselves. A lifestyle, a philosophy, an emotion a point in time today that means “better for you is better for all”.
2.       A story. Most major brands have a story. Examples: if you like Ford vehicles, you might be familiar with the story of Henry Ford or if you love your Nikes, you probably know how the Nike swoosh logo was created. What is the story behind you grocerant niche fresh food?
3.       Consumer interaction. When you are first entering the grocerant niche , don't fool yourself into believing that your marketing efforts are 'brand building' efforts. They're not because to build a real brand, you have to have an extensive track record with consumers. Consumer will build the brand and the story for you when you enter the consumer ‘awareness, acceptance, and adoption phase.
4.       Trust. When you've consistently delivered for your customers long enough, you'll gain the type of trust that many brands have.  Would you buy a Toyoda today? Maybe so, but how long do they have to rebuild that trust?

5.       Consistency. When a consumer chooses a product or service because of brand association, he or she is buying an expectation. Perhaps it's the expectation that the branded product is of higher quality or that the service will be provided in a more efficient manner. The expectation must be met time after time. Our Grocerant ScoreCards can help you get on track.
6.       Differentiation. Expectation is often borne of differentiation. Many brands offer products and services that are commodities but they're successful in developing some differentiation for their products and services that consumers are sold on. Differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a grocerant niche fresh food twist.
7.       Imitators. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and you're probably not a 'brand' until you have competitors trying to copy you. Do what you do best and lead your fresh food grocerant space, don’t follow.
8.       Market leadership. Top brands are usually looked at as leaders in the markets they compete in. Own the space, and understand why you do.
9.       Grow. The best brands are flexible and capable of reshaping and reinventing themselves and their messages over time. Consumers are not static!  Your brand must be dynamic and grow, change and adapt over time. Know where the grocerant space is moving and move with it.
10.   A strong marketing presence. The information super highway is evolving; your message must follow the traffic.  Don’t get stuck on the road less traveled.
Are you trapped doing what you have always done and doing it the same way?  Interested in learning how Foodservice Solutions 5P’s of Food Marketing can edify your retail food brand while creating a platform for consumer convenient meal participationdifferentiation and individualization?  Email us at: or visit: for more information

Monday, June 27, 2016

Centre St. Kitchen from Concept too Grocerant

You may not have heard of Centre St. Kitchen but you may very well know the company that owns it.  That company is Global Partners and its President and CEO Eric Slifka.  Global Partners is a midstream logistics and marketing company that owns, controls, or has access to one of the largest terminal networks of petroleum products and renewable fuels in the Northeast. With approximately 1,500 locations, primarily in the Northeast, Global Partners also is one of the largest independent owners, suppliers and operators of gasoline stations and convenience stores in the nation.

Like the team at Foodservice Solutions® Global Partners team has taken it’s time looked around and studied the success clues left by our Grocerant Guru® and others then packed the best of them into Center St. Kitchen.  

Slifka stated that "We have an exciting new concept and store design that significantly raises the bar for our company. As well, our store associates are excited to match our design with outstanding customer service." The first Centre St. Kitchen debuted 2015. This new location builds on the success of the first with multiple additions:
  • Fresh, made-to-order sandwiches
  • Customizable pizza by the slice
  • Touchscreen kiosk ordering
  • Expanded seating and stand-up counter
  • Free WiFi and charging stations
Slifka continued "This Centre St. Kitchen is a fantastic evolution of our concept, spot-on with several consumer and industry trends such as customization, kiosk ordering and fresh ingredients," … "Our mission is to bring unsurpassed quality and service for consumers looking for fresh, on-the-go food options.”   Outside Eyes for Inside Results Foodservice Solutions® specializes in outsourced business development. We can help you identify, quantify and qualify additional food retail segment opportunities. Visit: Johnson, or