Friday, November 25, 2022

United Airlines Service with Grocerant Niche Success


How is it that United Airlines understands that consumers want grocerant niche Ready-2-Eat and Heat-N-Eat fresh prepared food and so many legacy grocery stores stutter at discussing the idea?  Restaurants have had great success selling grocerant niche meals and meal components for takeout and delivery.   According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®, who stated, , “United will find success within the grocerant niche as well.” The carrier has opened a new convenience-store-like lounge in Denver for members of its elite flyers club.

Now, United Airlines is trying a grab-and-go version of the usually upscale lounges it operates in airports for members of its United Club elite-travelers program. The facility, just unveiled in Denver International Airport, sports banks of coolers and shelves packed with food items, not unlike a restaurant takeout or convenience store meals to go.

The lounge outlet features the same sort of technology that eliminated the need for cashiers at Amazon’s Go c-store experiment. Travelers gain entrance by having their boarding passes scanned at an entry gate. Once inside, they can select what they want and walk out. Yes, the underlying technology calculates their tabs and charges it to their credit cards.

So, the self-serve options include sandwiches, salads, wraps, yogurt, packaged beverages, fresh fruits and vegetable snacks. Coffees and coffee-based drinks are prepared at a full-service coffee bar where customers are still spared the need to pay then.

One drawback, only non-alcoholic beverages are offered. The emphasis is on speed and convenience, according to United.

Giving customers what they want, where they want it always works according to Johnson. This new format is intended to meet strong demand from flyers for food and beverages they can take onto their planes and consume in-flight. About 54% of visitors to a United Club say they like to have a snack or meal onboard.

Luc Bondar, President of United’s Mileage Plus frequent flyer program, stated, “We know there are times when our members are in a hurry and use our clubs to sneak a quick drink or snack, so we've created this new format to make it easy for them to do that without sacrificing an upscale club environment,".

In case you did not know, Access to what United calls United Club Fly is limited to the same travelers who have access to its airport lounges elsewhere. According to United’s website, that means either paying a $525 annual membership fee, buying a premium seat on an international flight or buying a one-day pass.

For international corporate presentations, regional chain presentations, educational forums, or keynotes contact: Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions.  His extensive experience as a multi-unit restaurant operator, consultant, brand / product positioning expert, and public speaking will leave success clues for all. For more information visit, FoodserviceSolutions.US or call 1-253-759-7869

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