By Margie Proctor
Hillphoenix Marketing & Design Specialist
Equipment for preparing and displaying foods should be able to accomplish a variety of goals. Along with supporting the menu, the right equipment plays a role in creating product theater.
From ordinary to interactive
Picture the typical produce department with cases along the perimeter and rows of islands out on the floor. Shoppers often navigate the space on autopilot, engaging momentarily to check items for freshness and integrity. Compare that familiar scene with this: staff chopping and slicing fresh fruits and vegetables at a refrigerated kiosk island in the center of the space. The sights and sounds of food prep, the ready availability of the produce expert, all break through shoppers’ filters and invite interaction.
Customers want to find out what’s happening. Are the items for sampling? How are the veggies going to be used? By moving food prep from behind the scenes to out in the open, you create all sorts of opportunities for customer engagement. It’s a chance for them to ask questions about different ingredients, sample an exotic fruit, get ideas for new dishes, or discover an unfamiliar vegetable. It also helps you cross promote your prepared food offerings and reinforces that food is prepared fresh daily.
One appliance, multiple applications
Adhering to this principle for new equipment and the equipment you already have saves space and maximizes efficiency. Is pizza on the menu? Consider using the meat slicer in the deli to slice pepperoni for the pizza chef. The same griddle that’s used to cook up ingredients for breakfast burritos can be used for chicken to top salads on the lunch or dinner menu.
This kind of thinking – demanding double duty and avoiding any unnecessary one-trick ponies – informs decisions about menu development and equipment purchases. It’s also the kind of fresh thinking Hillphoenix can bring to your Destination Centers.