More convenience store owners should be applying for on-trade licences to capitalise on the rising number of people working away from the traditional office, according to Spar MD Debbie Robinson.
Speaking at the Him conference yesterday, Robinson said the key was to embrace the changing habits of consumers, with a growth in people working remotely in cafes and coffee shops.
“We think you just have to be licensed for the on-trade, because let’s face it, all those coffee shops are starting to flog their stuff in our shops - we’ve got to go and get a little bit more of that important share.
“We should embrace internet start-ups by making stores that have wifi access, we know they’re going to stay there for three hours but embrace that and there might be a great idea that comes through.”
She also cited the role that electric cars would play in future in driving foodservice within convenience as consumers stay longer at service stations to charge their cars and sit to eat in.
“We think leisure facilities are going to be absolutely relevant, when consumers are waiting to have their cars charged for however long it’s actually going to take,” said Robinson.
She added there was room to expand convenience foodservice further, saying that while stores have already provided breakfast and lunchtime solutions, the evening market was still relatively untapped.
Robinson flagged up the rise in popularity of Sunday roasts in convenience stores, and added that Spar was looking to expand Daily Deli’s offering further.
“It’s incredible how many people turn up to a convenience store for a Sunday roast and once you’ve established that you’re going to be able to get them for Monday nights.
“One of the developments we’ve been looking at with the Daily Deli is the dish of the day, with a meat-free Monday option and a fish dish on a Friday and doing it really simply and quite carefully.”