Creating a Food Theater in Your Store Aug 16, 2017 By: Laurie Gethin, Director, Education, Food Marketing Institute A colleague of mine recently celebrated her birthday in a rather unusual manner. Instead of going to an upscale restaurant or taking in a performance, she had her birthday celebration at a grocery store. You see, this millennial colleague loves the new restaurant in her local grocery store and insisted on celebrating there with friends and family. According to a recent article by NPR, my colleague is not alone in her love of grocery store restaurants. In fact, FMI’s own Power of Fresh Prepared/Deli report talks about creating a food theater experience—one in which retailers provide a variety of fresh prepared offerings and create captivating culinary adventures that keep customers coming back. Designing these food theater experiences is just what retailers attending the upcoming Energy and Store Development Conference, September 24 – 27 in Orlando, FL can expect to hear in several sessions. The breakout, Becoming a Grocerant: Winning the Customer through Comprehensive Food Service Design, will tackle the challenge of creating compelling fresh prepared food offerings in an in-store dining setting. When it comes to in-store culinary experiences, retailers need to consider branding and menu offerings, efficient food service kitchens and think through space planning and décor. A culinary focus can take retailers beyond the deli case and hot bar and provide shoppers with memorable and engaging experiences that connect them closer to their food selection—and their favorite store. Experts from Grocerant Design Group and Cuhaci & Peterson Architects, Engineers, Planners will walk attendees through a strategic and comprehensive approach to designing and developing a successful food service program. Attendees will walk away with a roadmap to create, guide, and implement a differentiated and compelling restaurant concept right in their stores. Additional store design sessions promise attendees a fresh perspective. Here are a several sessions you won’t want to miss: How to Maintain Relevancy in an Uncertain Future Retail Tornados: Weathering the Store Retrofit Process By 2025, Will the Traditional Grocery Store Be an Endangered Species? The Reinvention of Brick & Mortar: Bringing New Life to Convenience, Experience, and Sustainability What’s Driving Today’s Store Format and Design Trends? Repurposing a Multi-Level Retail Space to a Food Store Learn more about the Energy and Store Development Conference.