How Supermarket Foodservice Can Compete with Restaurants


Grocery stores are uniquely positioned to compete with restaurants when it comes to serving up fresh meals.

Sure. Consumers have more choices today than they did a decade ago with the rise of restaurant openings (especially in the fast-casual segment), but supermarkets can be a one-stop-shop for time-saving shoppers.

It’s true… more and more restaurants are offering healthier options, but if grocery stores can perfect their foodservice game, they will have the real upper hand.

As Supermarket News reports, there are nine things these businesses can do to streamline their operations. Here are four that stood out to us:

1. Start small, test, tweak.

Supermarket News recommends starting small in order to try out different menu items and make adjustments as consumers provide feedback.

“It’s easier to start small and add more menu options later than to offer a huge array and have to take some away,” Bart Yablonsky, director of operations at Ellwood Thompson’s Local Market told Supermarket News.

2. Offer both signature and DIY dishes.

This one is pretty straightforward. Some people just can’t make up their mind and having some signature items in your menu will be of tremendous help to those who have trouble coming up with their custom order. Other people like having a choice and any time you offer the option for DIY, you will win those consumers who know exactly what they want and how to put it together. It’s all about flexibility.


3. Create exciting menu boards.

Consider setting up a beautiful video display screen with easy-to-read and concise menu options. The benefit of going this route is the fact that you can update the menu as many times as you want at no cost. Consider being transparent about your ingredients. The customer really values that.

4. Try wireless vibrating pagers.

Pagers can really help shoppers maximize their time while visiting your supermarket.

“Whenever wait time exceeds 3 to 5 minutes, staff should already be inviting customers to shop and come back in X amount of time,” suggests Allen Seidner, principal at Thought For Food Consulting. “This is an underappreciated opportunity for customers to relax and enjoy shopping while they wait, which is great for their spirit and your sales, but also for the other customers waiting to approach a busy station,” Seidner told Supermarket News.

To learn about the remaining five tips, visit Supermarket News!