plenty of stuff but few solutions.
• They found limited staff engagement—the experience lacked a human element.
I think most of us would lay claim to a careful consideration of the shoppers’ needs. Here’s a provocative
question: Do we really? Is the shopper a commodity—a
bundle of attitudes and behaviors—to be manipulated?
A theme park had a very popular ride, and while high
demand was a good thing, it also meant that park guests
had to wait in a long line for the ride, creating a neg-
ative experience that threatened to offset the pleasure
of the ride. This theme park added another ride (add-
ing capacity), but it didn’t stop there. It created an area
in which it was more comfortable to wait and created
activities in that space that made the necessity of wait-
ing a pleasurable experience in itself.
I don’t know what the solution looks like for retail
foodservice, but I do know that we won’t find that solution until we see our offering through the shopper’s
Shoppers are humans. (Yes, I just wrote that.) They
have deep desires and needs that are going unmet. Until
we engage shoppers as humans, we can’t possibly present solutions that truly meet their needs.
In all 25 of the top grocery chains in the U.S., all of
them are rated by their shoppers as having significantly
lower satisfaction in the prepared foods shopping experience than in the overall shopping experience. And yet
every one of us would say that grocery stores need to
win on the perimeter.
Educate and inspire. Engage the shopper as a whole
human being. That’s not a fad. I suspect the survival of
the supermarket business model may depend on it.
I don’t know what the solution looks
like for retail foodservice, but I do
know that we won’t find that solution
until we see our offering through the