With most of the country’s restaurants closed during the early stages of Covid-19, people turned to supermarkets to find essentials for cooking at home. But for many years, supermarkets were more than just a place to buy groceries. In fact, many contained sit-down dining areas and coffee shops. Before the pandemic, millennials and gen-Zers were regular visitors to these outlets, taking advantage of the convenience of grabbing a bite and picking up groceries all in one place.
Prior to Covid-19, many supermarkets were already expanding their prepared food departments and creating a casual dining area where customers could simply open what they bought and consume it on the spot - much like a food court. While this was less glamorous than eating at a sit-down restaurant, it was more convenient and often more budget friendly than cooking an entire meal at home.
The evolution of dining habits and higher standards have pushed these “groceraunts” to be more like restaurants. Supermarkets have put more thought into their designs with comfortable furniture rather than simply placing picnic tables and benches. Their expanded menus and services also mimic those of fast casual outlets. In fact, they have developed into more experiential food destinations that mere markets.
Supermarkets with sit-down dining also compensate for the popularity of online grocery services. They give customers a reason to leave their homes to shop. On the other hand, many of these outlets find that a large portion of their customer base are not grocery shoppers at all. In fact, they have become simply a place for people in the neighborhood to grab a bite for lunch or dinner.
Modern groceraunts understand their customer demographics. Wifi and charging stations are basic added value items available at many fast casual outlets. Incorporating technology such as an automated sushi delivery system or using tablets to take orders, attract younger diners with more disposable income. To find out more about whether or not your supermarket can incorporate a restaurant within its premises, call Restaurant Design Concepts for a free onsite consultation.