We all know that the trend toward providing a more enjoyable and diverse shopping experience has been prevalent in the supermarket world. So it comes as no surprise that food stations that resemble quick-service or fast-casual restaurants are on the rise at supermarkets, emerging as a natural extension of the traditional deli counter.
But a SupermarketNews article reports that ten years ago Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and the Texas chain Central Market began to experiment with bringing a high-quality dining experience into their stores.
While the full-service restaurants have been slower to catch on, some chains, such as Wegmans and Price Chopper have found success with the concept, the article said.
A more recent Boston.com article shared numerous examples of how an increasing number of supermarkets in greater Boston are winning fans with affordable, high-quality restaurants.
As new supermarkets spring up, plans invariably include kitchens run by chefs, dining facilities, and more-in-store classes, the article said, citing as an example the Whole Foods in Dedham, Massachusetts, which has a glassed-in Wellness Club. Others feature live music and poetry slams, and the Shaw’s at Boston’s Prudential Center conducts nightly wine tastings!
Supermarkets may not have yet achieved the level of customer service associated with more traditional hospitality organizations, such as Ritz Carlton, but they certainly seem to be on the right track toward greater levels of customer service and engagement.