Restaurants introducing food shops

6/1/2011

Restaurants are opening food shops as a way to tap into new revenue streams since they’re already privy to where to get the best quality products.

The retail-restaurant trend is being predicted as one of the top-10 restaurant trends in 2011.

One of the biggest examples of this trend is New York’s Eataly that features restaurants, cafes, groceries and wines all under one 50,000-sq.-ft. roof. On a smaller scale, even mom-and-pop restaurants are getting into the action

Such is the case with Ottawa’s Murray Street Kitchen that opened Murray’s Market last month. The shop features cheeses, meats, produce and made in-house food that are featured in the restaurant.

Driving this new trend is the consumer’s need to know where products originate, something restaurants do naturally in sourcing menu items.  The retail-restaurant model is a good fit with popular market items driving business into the restaurant side, while the retail side provides a place where people can pick up the foodstuff they’ve enjoyed during a sit-down meal.

For customers on the go, shops can offer a quick pit stop for grab-and-go high-quality food. That’s the idea behind Lakeview Diner’s Lakeview Storehouse in Toronto. Situated next door to the restaurant, it carries groceries and take-out food. The store also acts as a quick supply source for the restaurant when it runs out of staples.

On the flip side, Edible Canada in Vancouver is expanding its retail outlet to include a take-out window and bistro on Granville Island. The restaurant format allows the retailer to really sample products and up-sell to high-end ingredients in its store that are used on the bistro menu.

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