Yet again, another food trend has taken the country by storm. Yes, it’s a restaurant, but it’s all about location. And that location is a grocery store. These new restaurants are being dubbed “groceraunts” and are trending in the ever competitive food service segment. While this idea has been around for the decades, the food now goes well beyond Ikea meatballs and Target hotdogs.
When you think about it, what could be a more perfect pairing? Grocery stores are trying to navigate increasing competition from Amazon, meal delivery services, and an already crowded grocery space. Revenue for prepared food service at supermarkets continues to grow and be a driving revenue source. Taking that one step further and creating restaurants or cafe’s is a natural progression. Grocery stores also have the added advantage of built in economies of scale when purchasing. Prepared food is also a way to use up older produce or meat that might otherwise not sell and go to waste. These advantages allow groceraunts to offer lower prices which appeals to millennials.
Food industry analyst Phil Lempert says this appeals to millennials, too. “What these groceraunts can do is give them a convenient location where they can meet their friends, where they can have great food, and have it at a great value. That becomes a terrific formula to attract this generation.”
Taking notice of the food hall trend, such megastores as Whole Foods, that have always had food options, have begun to introduce more small shops within their broader stores and concepts. This not only brings more traffic into the restaurateurs space, but creates a bond between store and restaurant. I think perhaps the best thing for restaurant owners to do is to take advantage of this trend, creating powerful partnerships between stores and their businesses. It will help both sides grow equally and dependently.
With all of that being said, I think that this particular phenomenon is quite interesting as it pertains to creating a new age of dining with more options. In the western world, and specifically in America, we have just begun to add new venues for exciting dining that were otherwise put aside for fast food. The concept of the food hall was something that had been around in Singapore for ages, but in America the idea had withered in mall food courts. In major cities across the United States, we have begun to truly adapt this style of eatery, hosting food halls with very innovative concepts. The groceraunt could be just an addition to this, with many markets in other cities around the world having restaurants within their concepts. So this idea may not be a new one, but it sure is a good one.