In this Creative Ware house (HOOP) they sell clothes, accessories and.... coffee and soft drinks !

Did you notice that the amount of shops offering food has grown during the last years? It used to be that you had lunch in a lunchroom or restaurant and if you felt like having a coffee with some cake you would have gone to a café. These days seem to be over now.

People travelling by car, train or airplane already have seen the amount of places where food is on offer growing enormously. I did already discuss this in earlier posts like this one. But recently also the regular shopper has to resist more temptations than ever before.

It started in big department stores. People come here to visit many different floors and have to deal with all the impressions given by the products on show in warm and dry air. Therefore in these buildings restaurants were introduced. The costumers would be able to take a break of their shopping without having to leave the store. While the restaurants used to serve just drinks and cakes, later the assortment has grown to simple sandwiches and now even widened to hot plates of fresh fish and grilled meat.

Did you notice where those in-house restaurants are situated? They are either in the heart of the building or on the sides of it. The first option is chosen to be sure that people who are already in the shop will stay in. And also to lead visitors which come especially for the food, will be lead along all the other products on display and might be persuaded to buy something.

By putting the restaurant on the outer facade of the shops, it is easier for possible costumers to come in. At first instance they might only enter because of the food, but decide in the second instance to move further in the building and spent some money on other wares which they didn’t plan to buy. You will probably recognize this yourself.

Another advantage of having a food department in (big) stores is that you can give the shopper or his/her fellow-shoppers something to reward them for their patience. You can already hear a mother tell her bored child that ‘we will have some ice cream as soon as we are done here’. It has advantages for everyone. It will help the child to survive some more boring minutes in the store, it enables the mum (customer) to stay a little bit longer, and in the end gives the owner a higher turnover as well from his regular business as from his food department.

Lately some shops which don’t have food as a main activity in their business plan even try to attract customers by their food department. A worldwide known furniture chain offers cheap breakfasts in their restaurant which opens even before the rest of the shop is open. Now other warehouses, but also smaller shops, museums and libraries follow this trend.

Why would they do this? The main motivation is probably because it attracts and keeps customers. They cheap breakfasts in the furniture store is mostly sold below cost-price. The money is made because the people will not only eat but also buy other stuff which compensates for the low food prices. Here food is used as a teaser towards people in the same way as we humans use food to lure animals he likes to caress.  And we react exactly the way they do!