Supermarkets are like other host venues (hotels, casinos, other retailers) in their desire to keep people on premises and offer multiple food experiences.
Supermarkets are like other host venues (hotels, casinos, other retailers) in their desire to keep people on premises and offer multiple food experiences. The more stores expose shoppers to food merchandising, amenities, services and entertainment, the more solutions that shoppers become aware of, and the bigger baskets could grow.
Done well, in-store dining could extend a family shopping experience into a quality restaurant meal – and it could serve other customer behavioral needs as well. A bored dad has a place to park. Kids can play their hand-held games, text friends or doodle. Mom can have a well-deserved treat and shop without ‘I want that’ whining or tussles in the aisle.
Pretty often, though, it’s about the food. When Home Depot operated its Expo stores, the Chock Full of Nuts Café concept (muffins, coffee, salads, sandwiches) drew a 68% customer capture rate, says Arlene Spiegel, principal, Arlene Spiegel & Associates, a New York City consultancy that worked on it with both brands. “Once customers leave the store, the chances of getting them back are nil,” she adds, underscoring the value of in-store eateries.
Of course, people shop food stores far more than they visit a home design center, but the principle remains intact that “characteristics of a branded restaurant must meet the needs of the shopper the supermarket is looking to attract,” says Spiegel. To succeed, a supermarket and an on-premise branded eatery must conform in demographic and psychographic appeals, menu offers, décor, pricing, operations, merchandising, marketing and more.
Her checklist is lengthy. Several of the points include: