Julian Hunt
Somerfield has come up with an ingenious way of offering hot rotisserie chicken in stores without room for the traditional serveover counter.
Shoppers at its store on the King's Road in London ­ one of those testing the idea ­ pick their ready-cooked chickens from a heated display unit branded hot food to go'.
The chickens are actually cooked in the back of the store in two rotisserie ovens. Once ready, they are packed in plastic containers, which are stored in insulated boxes.
These boxes are then wheeled on to the shop floor when staff need to replenish the display unit.
Once cooked, the chickens can be stored for three hours.
A spokesman said the system had a number of benefits, not least the fact that it helped busy stores meet demand for rotisserie chicken during peak periods.
In addition, the display units are sited at the front of the store, along with other fresh food products, rather than hidden at the back with the serveover counters.
Another benefit is the fact that the chickens are packed in containers with clear lids, rather than foil lined bags, which means that shoppers can see what they are buying.
The spokesman said the units, which are in a handful of stores, were going down well with shoppers. The company is planning to roll them out to other stores in busy high street and city locations when they are refitted.
Somerfield is also looking to extend the range offered in the units to include other rotisserie lines such as ribs.