While it’s easy to find examples of retail stores that sell quick-serve or fast-casual food, it’s becoming more common for restaurants to operate their own small retail stores.1 Whether designed to provide greater convenience or enhanced experiences, retail offerings can encourage restaurant guests to stay longer or visit more often.
6 Things Retail Can Teach Restaurants
There are many different ways to add retail opportunities to a restaurant. However, your options may be limited by space, equipment and staffing considerations. With that in mind, here are six ideas from retail for restaurants to consider.
Open a food store. Offering a meat market allows your guests to take home the same quality meats you serve in your restaurant. It also gives you the opportunity to educate them about different cuts of meat and what you look for when selecting beef and pork for your establishment.
Restaurants also have found success in selling produce or pantry staples directly to guests. If your menu includes Asian, Latin, regional or fusion dishes, consider offering guests the ability to buy what they need, in smaller portion sizes, to recreate those entrées or side dishes at home.
According to a recent report, enthusiasm for cooking at home has declined, from 23% in 2021 to 19% in 2022.
If you’re feeling enterprising, consider selling your products at a local specialty grocer. Next time you’re at the grocery store, scan the shelves for branded products from national, regional and local restaurants. You’ll probably come away with a few ideas for your foodservice establishment.
Stock meal kits and prepackaged to-go items. According to a recent report, enthusiasm for cooking at home has declined, from 23% in 2021 to 19% in 20221. Meal kits and prepackaged takeout items give guests eat-at-home options that are easy to plan and prepare. Desserts, salads and appetizers are other options for people who want to treat themselves or add something special to an at-home meal.
Market your merch. Branded apparel isn’t just for big name chains or popular tourist spots. If your restaurant has a local following, a great name or eye-catching logo or motto, consider putting it on t-shirts, hats or barware. Just make sure such offerings feel authentic to your restaurant’s brand. If guests have ever asked to buy such merchandise, take it as a sign that it might be an easy way to add retail to your restaurant.
A 2021 study by the National Restaurant Association found that 40% of restaurant operators have added a contactless mobile payment option since March 2020.2
Use contactless technologies. A 2021 study by the National Restaurant Association found that 40% of restaurant operators have added a contactless mobile payment option since March 2020.2 If you aren’t using this and other contactless technology, you may be missing out on opportunities to streamline operations and free up front-of-house staff to focus more on guest hospitality.3
More Ideas From the Beef & Pork Experts™
The Tyson Fresh Meats Foodservice Team can help you navigate the “new normal” for foodservice operations with quality beef and pork products, outstanding service and exceptional support. Talk to us today to find out more.
1 Trend Hunter 2023 Trend Report
2 How restaurants are bringing tech to the table in 2021
3 3 lessons that restaurants can learn from retail, June 2022