Catering to the younger generation

We always hear about supermarkets fighting fast feeders for share of dollars. So, why not have both?

That’s exactly what Rewe is trying out in Cologne, Germany. The supermarket chain is testing a concept called Made by Rewe, a 2,100-square-foot dine-in/takeout restaurant adjacent to one of its inner city stores. Tesco has tried a similar concept.

The menu includes the kind of ready-to-eat items you might expect—snacks, pizza, pasta, soups, deserts and drinks. But there’s something else called Smart People! A line of health focused ingredients and recipes that people can prepare at home or have the stores own cooks whip up for them.

Anyone will tell you that restaurants, even limited menu operations are costly, dicey businesses that are subject to limitless problems. Generally, they are considered a big pain in the neck.

But it might be wise to keep an eye on what Rewe’s doing and perhaps revisit the concept. Many supermarket chains—good ones—have tried it with varying success. Among them are Wegmans’ in-house foodservice operation with everything from pizza to Asian buffet, to Draeger’s white tablecloth Viognier restaurant in San Mateo.

For a younger generation of shoppers, who don’t have the time or cooking skills of their predecessors, or for others looking for a little more convenience, combining retail and foodservice may be worth another look.

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