The days of the standalone deli appear to be on the wane as independents spill out on to pavements and press every inch of stockroom space into use for the cappuccino crowd.

Forty-nine per cent in The Grocer's survey already offer foodservice and another fifth are considering it. As independents look for ways to balance the books, opening a café alongside the deli is a "no-brainer", says Bob Farrand of the Guild of Fine Food.

"If I were going to open a deli, I wouldn't even think of it without some sort of café as well," he says. At Beverley in East Yorkshire, Stuart Senn, who set up the Panizzi deli, wine bar and café in 2007, says retail sales accounted for 10% of takings at the start now 99% of turnover is down to foodservice.

"I don't know how small delis manage to make ends meet without a café or restaurant helping to prop them up," says Senn. "When our local Tesco opens after a revamp to include a bigger deli counter this year, it'll be even harder to compete."

Across the North Yorks border in Tadcaster, Ashley McCarthy took on the Old Sun Inn in 2005 and added a deli 12 months later to drive footfall into the dining area. It worked and the number of lunchtime covers rose to 50. He also runs farmers' markets in the grounds.

Now he's taken on the lease of another pub where he plans to repeat the success. Being able to use food getting close to its sell-by date in the kitchen helps to keep costs and waste down a concern for 71% of retailers. It also broadens opportunities for stocking very small brands where the retail margin is too small to justify putting it on shelves.

Focus On Speciality & Fine Foods