WINSIGHT GROCERY BUSINESS NOVEMBER 2017 103
while, and the grocerant concept continues to be big,” she
says. “Retailers can see 30-40% margins in those areas,
whereas the profit margins on nonperishables generally
are around 1%.”
Adapting to Change
The evolutionary growth of prepared takeout and fresh
food items has changed the way people see grocery stores,
says Deirdre Flynn, EVP of Chicago-based North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers, adding that the change has brought with it myriad equipment
and supply opportunities, including high-speed ovens,
beverage dispensing equipment, hot- and cold-holding
equipment, serving pieces and more.
“All grocery stores, in our opinion, are adapting to the
changing needs and customer demographics,” she notes.
“And this change is prevalent in small and large chains as
well as independent stores across the country.”
Macey’s Fires It Up
Retailers are taking advantage of these growing foodservice opportunities and using them to create extraordinary
prepared food sections akin to food halls.
For example, Associated Food Stores’ Macey’s division recently opened a new location in Murray, Utah,
that boasts an Asian wok, a sandwich and wrap counter,
and its crown jewel—a fire pizza oven. The response to
the retailer’s elaborate foodservice area has been so great
that it opened another store Nov. 1 in Holladay, Utah, with
Mollie Snider, culinary specialist for Salt Lake City-based Macey’s, says the retailer went big in its new foodservice department as part of its commitment to meet
the needs of shoppers who are busy and are looking for
convenient meal solutions for their families.
“Adding an in-store restaurant with chef-created dishes
provides the convenience and quality our guests are looking for,” she says.
Taking Advantage of Trial and Error
When designing a kitchen, retailers must first decide
what types of food their shoppers will like. This can be
tricky, and often is best accomplished through trial and
error. William Buck, national corporate chef for Rolling
Meadows, Ill.-based Rational USA, says that for operators trying new concepts, it’s important they select
equipment that is multifunctional and offers flexibility.
He adds that this equipment must also be user-friendly
and offer a return on investment through labor, food cost
and energy savings.
To help retailers experiment with ease, Rational offers
a SelfCookingCenter that can automatically cook an
array of food items, as well as detect the state of the food
he supermarket kitchen is heating up as more
retailers are offering their shoppers hot, fresh
meals fit for a restaurant table. In the age of
the “grocerant,” retailers are revamping their
kitchens to serve customers a variety of delicious options
while also giving them a place to eat in-store.
Retailers are paying a lot of attention to the foodservice
side of the store because, if done properly, it can be a gold
mine, according to Kari Fulton, VP of national accounts
for retail at Menomonee Falls, Wis.-based Alto-Shaam.
“The perimeter of the store has been growing for a
Retail Foodservice Pillars
Can’t Take the Heat?
Get Out of the Grocery
As the foodservice world evolves and the lines between
supermarkets and restaurants blur, there are plenty of
opportunities for retailers to compete. By Rebekah Marcarelli
RFS sales growth
4% for club stores
6 Equipment & Design
John Spencer, director
of fresh foods for
Macey’s, pulls a fired
pizza out of the oven.