The answers to these questions can be found at the EuroShop 2020 trade fair, which will take place in Düsseldorf from February 16 to 20, 2020. Olaf Hohmann, board member of the EHI Retail Institute, EuroShop’s conceptual sponsor, will provide tips and background information. As head of the retail gastronomy research department, he knows the market inside out.
How do you think retail gastronomy is developing and do you have some interesting examples to share?
In the last two years, the market for retail gastronomy in Germany has grown annually by approximately 4%. In 2019, the estimated turnover of retail gastronomy in Germany was around 10 billion euros – and it is still increasing! For example, the gastronomy at the Edeka stores Zurheide in Düsseldorf and Schmidt’s Markt XL in Bad Säckingen, at the clothing stores Engelhorn in Mannheim and Henschel in Darmstadt and at Real’s market hall concept in Braunschweig is very well done. On an international level, the gastronomic concepts at the Time Out Market in New York or Lisbon, in the luxury department stores Selfridges and Harrods in London, and at the organic supermarket Planet Organic, also in London, are all impressive. The food and drink options in the famous Spanish market halls in Barcelona, Valencia, Cadiz and Malaga are also spectacular. And the supermarket chain Hema (Freshippo) of the Alibaba Group also deserves the greatest attention.
Is it possible to transform these inspirations into a well-functioning practice yourself?
Gastronomic commitment is not self-evident. It calls for professional processes and skilled personnel. Digitized processes is also a major topic. Digitization can simplify, lead or manage processes. For example, when semi-skilled personnel prepare standardized meals and are digitally guided through the process. There are also digital solutions for mandatory documenting of hygiene processes. Another example are order terminals for guests. This reduces waiting times and generates add-on sales.
But the technical side is certainly only one aspect of this success.
Yes, this should go without saying! These days, lifestyle and atmosphere, well-being and experience are also highly valued. Well-designed gastronomy accomplishes all of this and ideally increases frequency, appeal and length of stay. This enables retailers to stand out from the competition and above all in online sales. The right food service equipment plays a major role in this. That’s why EuroShop 2020 is kicking off with the new Dimension food service equipment for the first time at the Düsseldorf Exhibition Centre.
What exactly can you see there?
You can expect many ideas on how retailers can create new shopping experiences for lasting customer loyalty. This ranges from choosing the right gastronomy equipment and clever planning for special convenience and to-go concepts to attractive theme restaurants and entire worlds of food. We offer guided tours at the fair to exhibitors who are involved in retail gastronomy and present and provide various solutions. By the way, the guide “Gastronomy Design in Retail 2020”, which was developed by the EHI working group Retail Gastronomy, will be published to accompany the trade fair. In addition, the new EHI study provides valuable input for successful retail gastronomy.
What is especially important according to this study?
The most important purchase criteria for the consumers questioned in the study were cleanliness and hygiene, quality and freshness, including freshly prepared food and a good price-performance ratio. In retail gastronomy, improvements in freshness and quality lead to an increase in purchases made by existing customers as well as gaining new customers. By enhancing the range of healthy or trendy dishes, new target groups can also be developed and existing customers can be surprised and enticed. However, in younger target groups the price factor is more important than the desire for fresh and high-quality food. This calls for awareness in pricing. So much for the main points. However, no matter how professional the concept is, flexibility still remains the be-all and end-all.
So is keeping up to date with the latest trends also a must in retail gastronomy?
Absolutely. If you want to be successful, the pressure to adapt to food trends and consumer wishes is high. However, flexibility is also called for when it comes to revitalizing gastronomy during periods of low frequency, especially in the afternoon and evening. With flexible technology and adaptable design options, many things can be tried out and, if successful, afternoon and evening business can be improved. EuroShop 2020 also provides plenty of inspiration in this respect.