The Rise of the “Groceraunt” + How to Get it Right

It’s 9:52am on a Wednesday morning here at the NEXTEP SYSTEMS headquarters in Troy, Michigan. I sell restaurant technology solutions to fast casual and quick service restaurants all throughout the United States. It’s the middle of the week, and I’ve spent the better part of my morning sending out emails and putting together proposals for excited new prospects. But this particular Wednesday morning is unique. All of my proposals that are going out today are going to grocery stores and convenience stores…

“Steve, that doesn’t make sense!! I thought you said you provide technology solutions to restaurants?!?”

We’ve observed a shift over the years that seems to really be exploding now. Grocery stores and convenience stores are out to steal restaurants’ lunch. The “groceraunt,” which brought prepared and made-to-order foods to grocery stores, is no longer just a trendy concept, but a necessity for stores to capture market share and increase profits. Brands all across the United States are bringing customers in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner by offering sandwiches, salads, pizza, coffee, smoothies, and many other hot and cold foods.

This got me thinking… it’s time to talk about the best way to approach prepared and made-to-order foods in the grocery and convenience store space.

1. Make It Seamless

Americans are busier now that we have ever been. We work longer hours, we take less vacation time, and we retire later in life. Having a “one-stop-shop” where we can eat and shop all in a short period of time allows us to get more done and have more time for the other things that are important to us.

Double down on this time-saving value prop. Make it easy for your guests! Let your guests place an order for their food and get a text message when their order is ready. While they are waiting, they can pick up those other odds and ends they need and pay for everything at once!

2. Get Social, Get Aligned, Get Going

If your guests don’t know they have the option of ordering breakfast, lunch, and dinner with you, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to capture market share. Use social media to announce new specials and LTOs. Have great signage in the store that directs customers where they need to go. Make sure your staff is aligned on what the menu has to offer and that they can speak to this with your guests. Make sure the kitchen staff is properly trained on processes and procedures to ensure an exceptional guest experience. An aligned and engaged staff leads to happy customers!

3. Invest in the Right Technology

Well, that’s where we at NEXTEP SYSTEMS come into play. We provide a self order technology solution that allows your customers to place their orders right on our kiosks and customize their orders to their own personal taste. Your customers can make their selections right on the screen and easily see all of the great add-on options. In fact, our kiosks will help you increase your check averages over having orders go through a traditional cashier/POS terminal. Plus, our kiosks will remember your customers so their favorite orders can be pulled up, and they can complete an order in mere seconds. This speed also helps to reduce those long lines that can happen from time to time and increase order volume. While the order is being prepared, your customers can pick up the other items they need and get a text message when the order is ready… and pay for everything at once.

We can even provide a solution for deli meats and cheeses. Customers can choose by weight or slice and even choose what thickness they would like. Better yet, your customers will have the choice to order online and have the order ready for pickup when they come in for that well-deserved lunch break.

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