1. Channel: Restaurants

Restaurants vs. Grocery Stores: The Battle for the Plate


readers of this blog know that for decades, grocery stores reigned supreme as
the go-to for meal preparation and home meal replacement. However, the evolving
consumer has been migrating.  Recent
trends show a shift in consumer behavior, with restaurants steadily chipping
away at the grocery sector’s market share. According to Steven Johnson Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA
based Foodservice Solutions® key to that migration has been restaurants keen
focus on consumer eating habits. Let’s explore the reasons behind this

Time Crunch and Convenience: Our fast-paced lives crave convenience. The ease of
grabbing a prepared meal, especially with online ordering and delivery options,
is a major draw for busy consumers.

Shifting Preferences: Consumers are increasingly seeking diverse culinary experiences.
Restaurants offer a wider variety of cuisines and flavors compared to what most
people can cook at home.

Value Perception: While the base cost of restaurant meals might be higher, some perceive
it as offering value. This can include factors like the time saved cooking and
cleaning, or the inclusion of additional services like ambience and

Industry Innovation: The restaurant industry is constantly adapting. The rise of fast-casual
chains and gourmet grab-and-go options provides a middle ground between
traditional fast food and sit-down dining, appealing to a wider audience.

Marketing Muscle: Restaurants often have larger marketing budgets than grocery stores,
influencing consumer choices and promoting the “dining out”

is no doubt that legacy grocery stores aren’t giving up without a fight. Currently,
it looks as if it is a timid fight at best according to Johnson. That said, are
some ways they’re trying to win back customers:

Prepared Meal Sections: Many supermarkets offer pre-made or partially
prepared meals, catering to the desire for convenience.

Meal Kits: Delivering
pre-portioned ingredients with recipes offers a restaurant-like experience at

Focus on Freshness and Quality: Highlighting high-quality ingredients and organic
options can position grocery stores as a source of healthy and delicious meals.

Future of Food: The Battle for Share of Stomach

battleground between grocery stores and restaurants is likely to continue
evolving. Technology like online grocery ordering with faster delivery times
and meal planning apps could further challenge the dominance of restaurants.
Ultimately, the winner will be the one that best caters to the changing needs
and preferences of time-pressed consumers who value both convenience and
delicious food according to Johnson.

continued, on one side, we have the mighty grocery stores, overflowing with
fresh produce and meal possibilities. On the other, the ever-evolving
restaurant industry, with its siren song of convenience and flavor.

the grocery store has long been the king of meal prep. But lately, restaurants
have been making a power play, and their secret weapon is a two-pronged attack:
the drive-thru and takeout for delivery.

face it, folks, in today’s fast-paced world, convenience is king. Who has the
time to wander the aisles, meticulously picking out ingredients and planning a
meal? Restaurants understand this. They offer a curated selection of delicious
dishes, ready to be whisked away in minutes through the drive-thru or delivered
right to your doorstep.

how restaurants are winning the share of stomach:

Speed: Craving
a hot meal after a long day? The drive-thru beckons with its promise of a
satisfying meal in a matter of minutes. Grocery stores simply can’t compete
with that lightning-fast service.

Variety: Sure,
grocery stores boast endless aisles, but decision fatigue is real. Restaurants
offer a focused menu, ensuring you get a tasty and satisfying meal without the
overwhelming number of options.

Delivery Convenience: Gone are the days of slaving over a hot stove. With takeout
delivery, you can have restaurant-quality food delivered straight to your door.
Grocery stores are just starting to dip their toes into this territory, and it
remains to be seen if they can match the efficiency of established delivery

ask again are grocery stores up to the task?  Is there still a place for grocery stores in
the battle for share of stomach or have they simply given the ready-2-eat and
heat-N-eat fresh prepared meal space to both convenience stores and restaurants?
 Here are some ways we think they can fight

Focus on convenience: pre-prepped meals, meal kits, and healthy grab-and-go options can
compete with the speed of restaurants.

Highlight culinary expertise: Leverage your in-house chefs to create unique and
flavorful prepared meals that rival restaurant quality.

Embrace delivery partnerships: Partner with established delivery platforms to
offer grocery delivery alongside prepared meals, creating a one-stop shop for

battle for share of stomach is heating up, and both restaurants and grocery
stores are vying for the same customers attention. But with the right strategy,
any food retailer can leverage their unique strengths to remain a delicious and
convenient option for busy consumers.

Invite Foodservice
Solutions® to complete a Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or
placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®. 
Since 1991 Foodservice Solutions® of Tacoma, WA has been the
global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact:
[email protected] or 253-759-7869

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