“Food Express”, “Quick Serve”, “Grab n Go” are names we’re probably familiar with.
More and more, quick-serve, pre-packaged food, and meal options are out in front, exploding into Uni campuses, hospital precincts, and larger-scale manufacturing facilities to offer a fast-in, fast-out service for busy people.
We are seeing a growth in interest from food operators wanting to fit out either an entire “grab n go” retail outlet or at least, a section of a café or shop dedicated to the concept.
There are large numbers of consumers, often confined to a location for the day, attending lectures, doing prac work for instance, who are looking for immediate consumption, quick serve options.
So it makes sound commercial sense to cater for those needs in working out the layout of your fitout.
Even though it might be a captive market, it’s a savvy one.
Operators shouldn’t be fooled into installing a couple of refrigerated cabinets holding plastic packaged sandwiches and cold drinks will do.
Experience in retail shop fit and hospitality fitout tells us more.
So here are some key things to note:
Location & Convenience:
The fit out has to be located in a convenient spot, well signed, with some seating on offer if possible.
We’ve noticed that the majority of customers won’t want to sit down, but do try to include some indoor and outdoor seating for those who want a short break away from their workplace.
A Small Footprint:
The good news is that you don’t need a lot of interior space for a “grab n go”.
That means that owners aren’t burdened with the high rental costs of too much space. Efficient use of floor and wall space is the way to go.
Minimise seating areas.
It’s vital for the success of a “grab n go”.
The interior layout should show a clearly designated path of travel with a logical placement of food and drink fridges and point of sale so that both customers and business owner benefit by maximising on availability and placement of quick serve items.
Customers should be able to walk in, locate what’s on offer and make a purchase within a minute.
Most will head to the right first, so position key items on that side.
Don’t forget to allow space for queuing at peak times.
Definitely not to be overlooked!
Clear, task-oriented signage promoting quick choices, fast service and ultra convenience is a must to include in a commercial fitout of this kind.
If the food on offer is (hopefully) healthier and fresher than typical fast food, then shout it out!
Signage should clearly offer customers some pre-selected menu choices for those who don’t have time to linger.
Create daily displays to encourage customer involvement. Allocate a prominent position for them.
Keep your equipment flexible so that it can serve more than one purpose.
Customers’ wants change, so you’ll need to meet their preferences with adapting your equipment.
Make sure you understand all of the local council rules and regs on food packaging and storage too.
Get yourself up to speed on knowing time limits for maintaining freshness, for heating & re-heating of food, and general food handling.
A food licence from your local council is a must.
Apply to your local authority and don’t be caught without one!