When it comes to finding a new restaurant to try, most millennials and young families compare their options to a long list of desires. It’s tricky to find a location providing exciting new menu items, gluten-free or allergy sensitive options, and plenty of atmosphere at the same time. This has led to a rising trend in diners choosing the grocery store over more traditional restaurants. Hot food sales are skyrocketing at grocery store chains like Whole Foods. The statistics on hot food and takeout purchases in all grocery chains across the country have risen by 30% since the beginning of 2008.
Many families are drawn in by the allure of getting a hot meal and picking up food for the rest of the week in one place. Others want quick turnaround without the crowds and unattractive atmosphere of a fast food restaurant. Most grocery store chains are working eat-in locations into their new stores and renovation plans. Analysts are predicting that this rise in interest is set to cut into the market share of fast casual restaurants even more. Improved seating areas and extra free amenities like Wi-Fi are inexpensive and easy enough to add. Some stores are even hiring professional chefs to cook for them.