Kroger expands the Cincinnati store with the Saladworks location

Diving letter:

  • Fast-casual salad franchise Saladworks opened its first Kroger location in Cincinnati on Friday, a company press release said. It’s across town from the grocer’s downtown headquarters.
  • The Kroger in-store restaurant is Saladworks’ seventh grocery store. The existing grocery restaurants extend across Pennsylvania, Maryland, and New York. More than 10 openings are planned by the first quarter of 2021.
  • The addition of Saladworks continues Kroger’s shift in recent years to improve its catering services, including a collaboration with Rapid Fired Pizza and the opening of its own grocery hall.

Dive Insight:

As the battle for diner dollars intensifies, Kroger has taken several steps to get the restaurant business into its stores. Last year the grocer Partnership with Rapid Fired Pizza Bring freshly made pizza to select locations in Ohio. In another Cincinnati Kroger in the city’s central business district, the grocer opened its first grocery store in a supermarket, offering five restaurants, a full-service bar, and seating for up to 200 shoppers.

The grocer has also started experimenting with ghost kitchens, a concept that’s popular with restaurants this year as the pandemic hinders the local area Eat. Kroger will open There are two ghost kitchens in stores this month, one near Indianapolis and one in Metro Columbus, Ohio.

In the Kroger announcement, Eric Lavinder, vice president During the development of Saladworks, the growth potential of the grocery stores for the fast-casual chain was identified. “Guests can have the same great experience and diversity at a grocery location as they can at a traditional restaurant.” Saladworks posted impressive store growth in the first half of 2020 despite the pandemic and opened 22 new locations by mid-July.

Numerous major grocery brands, including Albertsons, Hy-Vee and Whole Foods, have introduced in-store restaurants or “grocers” in select stores to attract the attention of new shoppers, especially younger viewers. These in-store eateries like Starbucks, Saladworks, and Wahlburgers in Hy-Vee are often fast-paced, casual eateries ideal for takeout and the informal atmosphere of a grocery store.

In-store restaurants, especially with their alcohol offerings, can lead to increased cross-pollination between grocery stores and restaurant visitors, serve as test grounds for innovations in culinary and branding strategies and promote customer loyalty. For example, save Mart, has put guest chefs in the spotlight in the store restaurant of his California flagship to give his offerings a higher culinary pedigree. But Opening an in-store restaurant during the coronavirus pandemic still carries risks if customers don’t feel safe lingering in grocery stores or if state and local restrictions on indoor eating are tightened You have in many places in recent weeks.

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