As the hospitality sector contines to take a hit thanks to Covid-19, chains from Pret to Côte Brassiere are exploring new ways to get their products into customers' hands via supermarket retail.
Just last week Italian restaurant Zizzi launched a takeaway range in partnership with Sainsbury’s. It is one of many high street restaurants looking to expand into supermarkets, with Pret speeding up the launch of its retail offering, Starbucks and Leon already on shelves, and Côte Brassiere selling chilled versions of its dishes to eat at home.
Making the switch to supermarket retail makes sense in the current climate, explains Marketing Week columnist and director of Passionbrand, Helen Edwards: “Eating out has done particularly badly out of the coronavirus crisis as people are still not eating out to the degree they were, so they have to look for other ways to keep their brand salient.”
While coronavirus has sped up the trend, the casual dining sector was already in serious decline. Last year Byron, Strada, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire all collapsed as a result of the casual dining crunch, with more than 1,400 UK restaurants closing from June 2018 to September 2019.