Restaurant vs. Grocerant

Grocery stores aren’t just for cartloads of food staples anymore. They’re becoming hybrids. You may hear the term “grocerant” as grocery stores set out to conquer eating out.

The Data Driving Groceranting

Consumers are feeling the pinch of inflation. Here are some numbers, according to Specialty Food Association. A typical restaurant meal costs 3.4 x more than a meal made with groceries. In October, grocery prices were up 12.4% annually, while restaurant prices grew 8.6%. Everyone is competing for limited dollars, while working to give consumers what they crave: convenience.

Salad Bar to Food Hall Evolution

For years, grocers have promoted prepared foods to offset restaurant meals costs with everything from salad bars to custom deli sandwiches to carry-out. Now, grab-and-go has become sit-down-and-eat. Big grocers offer food-hall style options that include BBQ, Asian food, and tacos. Think food hall on aisle 8.

According to CNN Business, big names like Kroger, Whole Foods and Hy-Vee are the grocers driving the grocerant trend. Kroger has even opened its own restaurant chain called Kitchen 1883 Café and Bar.

What’s Good for the Goose

Portugal has long had “taskinas,” cafes by day that also sell local meats, wines, and other goods. These taskinas then turn into fine dining establishments as the sun sets. While they can’t fully compete with real grocery stores, they pull dollars their way.

During the last couple of years, restaurants used their supplier relationships of bulk food at cost to sell their customers groceries. This raised the average order size and allowed locals to support neighborhood restaurants.

Do you have specialties that could make you more of a grocer to your guests? Maybe special seasoning that can make potatoes in the home air fryer sing? Or bread dough that can be baked at home to take sandwich night to new highs? How about pre-made burgers and sauces? Many restaurants also bundle up theme night fixings, much like meal kits, for an even more awesome Taco Tuesday or Chicken Night. Of course, all this can be delivered through Uber Eats for convenience.

Special, for the Win

Nobody really wants their birthday dinner at a grocery store. Ambiance and a break in routine still matter. So, while convenience may drive the grocerant trend, restaurants still do what they do best: create take-me-away experiences that feel like an everyday getaway.

If you want to transport your guests by adding extra ahh to your patio, let us know. Transforming outdoor spaces into pure bliss is our intention. We believe great custom patio enclosures make the owner smile and guests want to linger. And we love talking patio whether you decide to use us or not. So, ask us anything, anytime.