Restaurant hurt is supermarket opportunity

Articles
November 20, 2009

Restaurant hurt is supermarket opportunity

The vise will tighten on restaurants in 2010 – and cause them to become even more promotional in order to attract customers who’ve grown accustomed to $5 sandwiches, $10 meals and other multi-course deals.

The vise will tighten on restaurants in 2010 – and cause them to become even more promotional in order to attract customers who’ve grown accustomed to $5 sandwiches, $10 meals and other multi-course deals.

So suggest findings of a new study by AlixPartners LLC, which revealed that restaurant patrons expect to spend about 20% less per meal next year – down to $11.49 from the 2009 average of $13.25.

Fine-dining restaurants fell off a cliff, drawing 36% fewer visits, even though 63% of the 1,000 consumers polled said they ate out weekly or more over the past 12 months, vs. 52% in an earlier survey, reported Nation’s Restaurant News.

Delivering the value that people seek while maintaining margins will be the challenge for restaurants.  Since we see this prompting menu shifts and new ingredient combinations to arouse diner curiosity and traffic, it will be critical that supermarkets sustain their pressure on restaurants with simple, convenient prepared foods and easy-to-assemble meal components. 

These same customers, who eat at home most of the time, have automatically responded to the greater value premise of supermarkets. The food stores didn’t hustle up this business, it came to them courtesy of the recession. It is theirs to lose, however, if they don’t keep to high standards of cleanliness, courtesy and creativity in their offers. 

For instance, new recipes are the antidotes to food boredom at home. Why not become dependable sources of new meal ideas through recipe cards not only by the meat case or seafood counter, but also on the most visible endcaps in the store? Conform endcap displays to the recipe cards: Group products to enable the instant assembly of packaged components for every course, along with fresh-bagged salads and even dessert.

That’s impulse that speaks the customer language of speed and convenience, in our view at SupermarketGuru.com. Quick Trips that deliver solutions beget more trips and more opportunities to sell. This thinking, executed on the selling floor, will turn food stores into more frequent meal destinations.