Progressive Grocer

JUN 2016

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then walk through massive stores to pick up the prepared food. Compa- nies like Instacart that do partner with supermarket chains have a dif- ferent business model and are not designed to deliver fresh-prepared single meals to consumers. "I'm willing to go on Instacart and buy my $100 order and have it delivered by 2 p.m. But when I want lunch, I want lunch," Lempert says. "What's more, on Instacart, if your order is under $25, you'll be charged an $11 delivery fee. Uber, on the other hand, has the tip and delivery charge included in the price, and you're paying only $10 or $12 or so." Restaurants and delivery services then split the proft on the orders. Simple solutions In Lempert's opinion, grocerant retailers need to proac- tively forge bonds with restaurant-focused services that use vehicles equipped to keep hot food hot and cold food cold. Some high-volume delivery services obtain menu items in bulk from restaurants at diferent times of day so meals can be delivered to customers within 10 or 15 minutes of order placement. "Tese meals are made fresh, but they're not made to order," Lempert notes. Grocerants would not need to ofer multiple types of meals for delivery throughout the day, he says. One or two dishes, a limited choice of beverages and a simple dessert from the store could be shown on the delivery company's app, which would also display meals from restaurants and other retailers in the area. Te app's menu would change at least daily—perhaps ofering dif- ferent choices for lunch, dinner and late-night snacks— allowing the grocerant to promote and provide diferent dishes without becoming overwhelmed. To work with delivery services, supermarkets would have to establish curbside pickup or reserved parking spaces for drivers, notes Chef Charlie Baggs, chief executive chef of Chicago-based Charlie Baggs Culinary Innovations. And ideally, store employees would bring the meals out to the drivers. In addition, the meals would have to be packaged in an attractive manner that prevents leakage, promotes freshness and touts the supermarket's brand. Crowd pleasers A self-described fan of UberEATS, Dragoo believes Uber- style delivery makes the most sense for grocerant retailers that have already made a name for themselves with sev- eral signature dishes. He notes that Big Y, headquartered in Springfeld, Mass., would be an ideal chain to test the meal delivery concept because they are widely recognized for their pizza, grinders and submarine sandwiches, and certain hot food dishes. "Te food needs to be top of the line in a particular catego- ry," Dragoo says. "Delivery would be more challenging for stores that [just] do a hundred things pretty well because they wouldn't be able to diferentiate themselves from local restaurants." Ultimately, prepared food delivery could be an efective way to drive more store trafc, says Lempert. He main- tains that consumers who order and enjoy a grocer- ant-prepared meal they've never tried before will likely think about visiting that store the next time they need to buy groceries: Te delivery business would increase store trafc and vice versa. G 37 SOLUTIONS JUNE 2016 "[Grocerant] food [for delivery] needs to be top of the line in a particular category." — Steve Dragoo, Solutions Consulting

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